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The Sumter banner. (Sumterville, S.C.) 1846-1855, March 29, 1854, Image 1

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Every W1edncsday MYorniug
Lewis & Richardson.
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RII1 A 8 V L ' I A
Three lhurths of a century had claps
ed from the establishmaxent in I o me,
by the Sabine Nuna, of the order of
the Vestals, when his grand sun Aneus
Martinus was called to the thrne.
Nun a the inspired-the loved ft the
godess-Eegiria, had lng been ga ther.
ed to his fatthers ; but. the sacred lire oif
the temple still burned on the, altars
first erected by himself. The Vestal
order had preserved its puIritv and
its vigilance fromt suspicion. It still
retained its popularity with the people
and its votaries were held in tie' high.
est estimation and veneration.
Great and various were the pt ivile
ges and powers of the holy iaidenis,
who, proud in their hutility, seldom
walked the streets of Iuine, uniattend
Atjf ed by their (uards, supIing the
faces, emblem s ot their rok :ruI sacre. I
ollice. The lightest and the noblest
of Rome's noble dames gladly devoted
their ol'tpring to the service of the
temple of Vesta, and eagerly ittrigued
for the honors ol the Nv itiate fiir heir
favorite daughters. Seldom had the
seniors of the temuiple availed then:ii
selves of the privilege f the law, of
again returning to the world after hav
ing served out the rcrtr:isite time, as
novices, 'riestesscs, aal teachers o
sacred mysteries. Yet the occurrence
was not so unconiiniioi as to excite in.
dignation, though it iiiighit. surprise,
when Gegania the eldest of the Vest
als uporn the promotion of Canutleid to
the rank of priestess, announced her
determination to iutit the temple, and,
at the age of forty take: hack her vow
of celibacy. An application to the
Pontifex .Matximiii us, to su1pp1y the vat
cncy aiong the Novices, became
necessary by the withdrawal of Ge
gaima, and the disa~igreeable (limiy of
making a selection, devolved uon
Areus Martinus, who blended withI
his office of King that, of S vereign
The solicitations of t he Romain mnat
runs were too t bittarrassinig to allow
the vacancy to be easily filled owing to
the fact that the applicants were utmost
iiumerous. Aneus Martinus still hesi
tated ia his decision when an urgent
appeal from the mothers of Vestal
showed him the nece-sity of a pr..mipt
compliance with their detands, if h
would as oid the anger of the powerft l
Virgins, whose influence was sufliciet.
lyd cfotoligt texie all itiJ tome
brwi fhspractice dus osrin tr our-th
teen: years he had already aeigned, itn
the discoveay and defeat of t reasonable
plots against the stability of his gov
Ornmeat. it, is at thtis period our tale
aomme~nccs, atnd on the very day
which the monarch had p~rolised to
make knownt his finial deterintatioan
respecting the anew Vestal.
Within the walls of'Romne a few days
previous to the period we have desig.
ntetd, Tarquin ius Priscus, a wealIth1y
Mitizen of' Corinth, had taken up his
residence, lie was accomnpanaied 1by
his oaly child a daughter, abouit nuie
years of age, TLarqtuinus was a wid
lGwgr-te. ear13' betrothedi of the Ves.
talGegaiad to receive hera hand
was his principal business at Roame.
bio dreams of' aspir-ing amrbitn for
himlTCf' or his daughter had ever infhlu
enced the philosophical Priscuas. Sat
hLfied with his intmetnse wealth and
patridan rtak, he sought ratppiness anid
4maet ii unpretendinag retiremnit.
11is unhIotundled -hbenevolenc--htis
vartied tre'qiiremntts and solid vituaes
e~apled with tnaostentlations piety. had
yegdered his jnme well knowan in
Romg,. and seenr ied ime a great and
3%g"fj dauughter of PrisQus4 was tall that
a faLter could~ wishi. Shet wats a suir
Prig hivuly ohild, wi t ha m'indu, so
fiireth devteiPed,. fbljl equal to te
* rr)fle ! hetr'plrSoni, antd ftimdly (dil
btentill'tjl a i W ws i .'l .'ih3 t-isIi(
the strong atlleetion of her sole parent.
She also, in accordance with the estab
lished customs of her people, was he.
trothed and wore upon her fore-inger
the iron ring of her distant kiisnan
Servius Tuillius. This youth had been
selected by her atlier from family
considerations-the afl'ections of the
children were not thought of'-Servius
was a soldier a bold and aspiring one
of his age, which did not exceed six
teen when he entered the royal army.
Whether the hetiothinent between
hiinself and his kinsman's daughter
would he agreeable to hitm when the
time for consumating it arrived, gave
the young soldier little uneasiness.
'lhe evil day was fhr off and the corn
part in the meanwhile secured hime a
prineely fiotune. ie was away on
soie distant expedition at the time
Priseus visited lHone once more to
form a matrimonial engagemnent.
A Rioman knight was passing the
house of Taruiinius, when attracted by
a sweet and giriish voice, he raised
his eyes and met, the curious gaze of
the proprietor's daughter.
'Who are you ?' lie asked abruhtly.
She timidly drew balk from the
soldier's interrogato ry.
Nay speak pretty one,' said he,
smiling kindly.
'WVhat is thy" nameil'
' Uhea: Sylvla.'
'Indtead ! the muother o oulr R otli
lus and liemis bore the same amd
was a Vestal. Wouildst thou like to fill
tle ''file of thy illustrious namesake ?
Even the young Irhea Syl Ivia knew
that the lliee of a Vestal was one of
the lighe'st coPnsideration, anl answer
iing the elinestion with delighted and
sparkling eyes. 'O rall things it would
please ie the I best.' She had folgot.
tell Ier het.t ot lied- the world with
whieh she was barely acquiniitedl--the
ho1pes 4of her f'nd inl indil.ent father.
Iler very iame had fromi infane,. as
sociated her, ini iliaginatinm, withI the
vestal order, and to lecome a priestess
of t hat orler alpipeare'd to her the most
g'oriouis destiny to which a fem-:;
ctile1 at-jire.
'rt thou of Rlmie ' asked thie stran
'No of' CorinthI.'
And thly ither, what is his name
and1( ruili
'A I'atriciani liv liirth. T uinius
P'ri-ssv ylame.'
II ah ! the g' ol IPriscus. Then
tlly wishes shall be g' at:fiel. Ki now
melt child f 1r l'Intifex .\laxius'u, and
tlaiik the gods Ihr this accidenttal ieer
rig. I'vepare tto enter the 'l'emilple of
Vesta fn It-morrow, when the grood
Inlt'llers shalil etall Ito escort, thee to,
h1ir liirni ig ailtairs. Y<in ,ii n,,viee,
I hid thet, fatrewell.' And Anieus
\l:artis passed oi, Ieavinrg time fair
lib.:nt S% lvia b,-,t in at~sni,-hmlent at
tire sudlen e. anlge im h-r ''th-tiun.
I )eeph a" l'ni,eu: f .10 ,f te I0, "f
his tlinulr'er, afd anioniIh as lie- de.
sired to keep her with himl, 'enm'tioln
:il refp'ect for Ii ''ile :i'l for- tlt ee
ligioni f his e ' ,lrI bo' 't'luile .nu inter
fereince li is I'., t. Thle vow's were
nmde, iand Ibea : Ivia hecame a
iivice in those siulplimte m ysterles.
known only to thet! virgins of the sun.
'ir ten yearis Aie acted the iv'ored
guardian of ihe -uisnetl lire. 'l'ho I:nk
ias inally waln. iii the 'ure and iar.
loit. leristess devoted herself with
zeal and elbllusiasrn to the luties of
her hmigh~ adli''e whIic provel ',d thaut no
whl tor earhl feligntr inge
us risenls lhad returnued to his nativ',e
CoriiithI, ande ill the pulrsuits of litera
Iture andl "ei('nce c'eaised to reijret his
daughter wvhilst hie gloried ini lier high
destinly and innuaiiiculate fim e. The
Vestal was pious, huotiored and happy
-thle lmost popubar and beloved of' her
whoil~e sisterhood.
'Ft her J upitet ! what a gloriious
being,' exelainned a young anld hiaiid
somle sohlier, as a Vestal and her guard
passed the plaeco where lie was stiand
ing. 'It were worth a kinigdomn to win
a smnile fromi so fair a creature.'
'Say yout SO, sir ,soldier,' replied a
cet izent neatr wvhomu he stood, 'and know
yOut iiot it mtight, cost a head ? Our
pious A neus wouilde timrni a Vestal's
stmile into the bitterest fruit you could
pluck in all Rotme.
'It 1may be4 so0, sir citizent, yet his
piowe~r will niot laist always.'
'No, butt the Co'llinie Oatme will sur
vive himi-a proper diread of' whieb,
will tuntm the Vestal's smiile into a
'A smile and miore have' been woti
from Vestal purity, anid in spite of
Vestal fears,'
'Not in llomoe my gay soldier.'
"So mtusty legenda 'toll4 yet our
great Rlomulus had a Vestal moth~er.'
'80 the same legend sayeth but
'Ihnh ! You a soldier of Rome atnd
dotubt her certain hi-toty. Beware.
sim soldier. It were no less than blas
phe~my ini yotu to t hrtow a shade of'
suis IiCIont oni (our di vino' I somuani's birt h.
'i kiiaw it frietd cit izenl. Forgive
lil-I spoke carelessly. I meant no0
ajne-tion oif whlitt all l~oo itmeblee..
myself among the rest. Ancus Mar
tinus, however, hath not the same
'L is not claimed for him , yet he i
a good and a pious king.
'Well rule-you know not the namt
of the Vestal ?'
'It is not so. None but a stranger
in Rome should be ignorant of it.
And I, sir citizen am that stranger,
For the last twelve years I have follow.
ed the banner of our good monarel
without stepping foot in Rome till tlhi:
blessed day. Father Jupiter ! I have
lost much of pleasure whilst spending
mny timeanong the barbarians. Will
you name the vestal.'
'Rhea Sylva, daughter of Tarquinu
Priscus of Corinth.
The soldier started with an expression
of the deepest astonishment but without
asking f'urther questions, bade th<
adieu cautiously, and gathering up hi;
toga, walked swiftly in the direction
the vestal had taken.
'Mercy !, oh ! beautiful and holy
priestess, mercy for the love of Vesta,
upon a wretch condemned to instant
death.' Rhea Sy I va made a sign tc
her guards to halt, and demanded of
the oflicer having the supplicating
prisoner in charge, for what ollence th
man had been condemned- 'For fra.
tricide,' was the reply, and on the
clearest testimony. The wretch still
clamored for mercy in the most pite.
ous terms, whilst he ofiTred sundry
excuses for the foul act. I cannot
pardon one so attrociously guilty, said
the Vestal, her cheek turning pale and
her lip qiuivering, as she cut off by her
refusal the last hope ofthe condemned
ming. The oflicer and guard moved
fio instantly to the place of execution.
The gentle priestess delighted in acts
01 mercy, and would g'adly have ex.
ercised her high prerogative had the
ollence permitted ; as it was, the pain
she endlured from being compelled to
refuse, induced her immediate return
to the temple.
It was night--the moon cast a pale
and !!eeing light over the highly
ctltivatei garden of the temple,
whilst the balmy fragrance of the air
seemed to invite the young priestess to
s. tai her agitated and over wrought
f'tslings, by rambling amidst the sweet
infuenees of the lights and shades of
her ihlvorite walks. The voice of
fratricide still rung in her cars and
pained indl excited her more than she
was willing to allow. But gradually
,he recovered her composure, though
nit her usuil tone of mind. ler
thoughts we rc pure but earthly. They
were 4,f.her fatiher-of' the homeandt~
cotpaniions of her youth-and that
deep blush betrays her-Servius T uli
lis was remelmbered in ier wandering
tiood. W\ hence came that strange
and mysterious association by which
the huyuish imge of Servious long
since hnished from her memory was
,( vividly called il ? Why does she
Ei-el ainxiouis to learn of his fate, to
b-arn if the man has realized the prio
miMes of the ardent boy.
In the ebangef il vagaries of her
thoughts, she remembered a soldier
like yoiung iman'sgazing intently upon
her as she passed the streets, and in
faet. fillows ing il sight of herself and
guards util she entered the Temple.
'Twas not tlat she had traced a single
leature she could identify-but, there
was some undefiable associatied with
She leaned iagainst the outer wiall of
the garden. restinig beneath the foliage
oft ani overspr'eadintg treec.
'Ca1n it be poibli Ie,'" site murmtu red
untcon'tscioutsly, "eani it be possible the
soldier was Ser vious ?
'W ithotut (lollht, virig in of the Sun,
was lie iinin ed iate r'esp~onse, andt~ a
mani jumpedlc ftrom the tiree to heri feect.
'W hat sacrilegeous mtadmrran is thtis?
dletmanded the young priestess haughiti
ly-'who has darecd to intrude into the
gar-dens of Vesta ?'
A deep cr'imson os erspread the
Vestal's neck and face, and whether of
pileasture or' anger might have been
dillieul t for' her' to deteri'nte.
'I was the sutbject of your' thoughts,
lshea Sylvia,' he conttinued, 'as youi
holy Maiden, have long beeun mine.
Little did I t hink whena I first gazed
upon you to-.day, andl ad m ired your
transeendant beauty, that you wetre thec
betr'othted of' my boy hood(, of' w homn
the manidate of'a tyrtan tt had robbed
'I may not deny I thIouight of youi.
It was almost the fir'st Li me in ten yeairs.
tou forced youirself upon my alttLen
tion to-day, by followitig me.
'Thanks, gen tle, priestess, Survitis
Tuillius was not for'gotte-n by you.'
In tr-uthl your wer-e. I kntow niot
your! feaiture ts,-~Thouigh some1 vague
reninottseenee assoiciated the supposed
stiranger- w ith y-our memory.
'My Memory ! Thanak Jupite, or
Vresta, miy memovry is not. thbat. of thle
deadl, though it wecre of tho forgotten.
"A nd of the dead. A t least dead to
tme. I am vow~ed to the temiplo."'
,a"I kntow it~ y-t daughter of' Vesta,
if I nustake not, thon .ci too yo.,,,,
and too lovely to have quienchedl all
the fires of a woman's hear t, in that
throbbing bosom of thine."
"Servius Tullius," said the Vestal
sternly, "you are fully aware, not only
of the great impropriety, but the great
danger of intruding, upon my privacy.
Should you be discovered here, your
fat.e is inevitable. Unworthy suspi.
cions might fix themselves upon my
character. I am a Vestal, and as such
may not hold secret converse with any
name. Away sir, nor longer end:.n
ger my fame or your own safety by
'Cold, cruel, unimpassioned maiden.
Is ittmot so-that you will not deign
to bestow one kind word or look, upon
the companion of your infancy."
"Servius,'tis you that are inconsid
erate and cruel. I voluntarily and
cheerfully assumed, -iAe duties and
took the vows of a Vestal. You did
our good 'ontifex Maximus great
injustice in charging, that his mandate
unwillingly changed my destiny.
"Stay, fair priestess. One moment
longer hear me. Think you, that were
you not bound to the shrine of Vesta,
Survius Tullius might hope for favor?
"This is worse than madness-'tis
folly. I am bound-let that suflice."
"One word, of hope or despair,"
cried Tullius passionately. It matters
not what is possible or impossible
answer ime. We may never meet
again-yet answer me. Might I have
hoped, did not Vesta interpose be
tween us?"
"You were my father's choice. My
consent should not have been wanting
to confirm it. Farewell. She turned
to leave him.
Tullius seized the Vestal's reluctant
hand, and imprinted upon it a burning
kiss. (I oman ladies had hands to be
kissed as well as the moderns.)
"Bear witness then," cried he, "bear
witness, father of the gods. Servius
Tullins swears tq- win his Vestal bride
or to perish in the gl-'rious attempt."
!or days the vestal appeared lost in,
overpowering thought. She knew not
what made the warm blood course
with such thrilling violence through
her veins. She knew not what pro
duced that painful-aching-still pleas.
urable-throbbing of the heart. One
idea alone fil led her inid and she
could not bmish it. Servius Tullius
was in everything she saw-heard
spoke or thought. The subtle poison
was working. The pure and noble
minded] girl knew no t, woman as she
was, that she either did or could love.
Her wak ilig and her sleeping dreams
turned upon one pivot. It perchance
she thought of love, she rejected the
intruding idea with horror. No !-it
was impossible. She the vowed pri
estess of Vesta, could not, did not,
must not love inortal man; but this
self-deception could not last always.
The truth was, erc-long forced upon
her, and she awoke to the horrors of
her helpless and hopeless destiny.
Among the busy multitude that
thronged ini mighty llome, were very
many of broken fortunes and anibi
tious minds. Men who were as ready
to hew out with the sword an amend
r.ent of their condition, in a domestic
broil, as in a foreign quarrel. The
seeds of that turbulent and factious
spirit which sub-cquently enabled the
soldierly to set utp a ero~wn itself for
sale, were already sown in Rome.
The good Aiicns Martinus with little
natu.ral dispomsition for war', could not
find eniploy ment suiita ble to their rank,
fotr all who chose to live by the sword.
A conspiracy was already formed to
dethrone the peaceful monarch, and
bestow the crown upon one of the con
spirators, liut Hlome was iiot so utter
ly eoiiupmt as it subsequently became,
and Aneus had suflicient notice otf the
movements of' the conspirator's to cita
ble him to bring them to justice when.
ever their plot, reached maturity.
Ser'vius Tu'mllius, an approved soldier,
had often heen solicited to take a part
in the purposed rebellion, and though
he (lid not entirely discountenance
or peremptorihy reject the solicitations
and olffers of' the traitors, lie had studi
ously kept himself aloof from their
cabals and was in 110 way coinutted
to their party. But under the inmihm.
ence of his new born pasion for' the
Vestal, lie was ready to join thetm,
hecart andI hand, upon the sole condition
that she should be his irewaird, spite of
her vows and oflicial stationi. This
demanid was readily conceailed by the
eimryo Moniarchl of the conspiriator's,
who only) wvondlered that the influential
soldier- could bo so infatuated as to
join their ranks without further stiput
lation. Serviuis iieithier asked nor
wanted morec. Tlhue crown itself, with
out ihea Sylvia, would have been
WOt taless. lst this -acr-ilico of honor
and loyalty was calculated to bienefit
him, even less than he anticipated,
though lie should fhil in his tiltimate
object. The treason was known.-.the
tr-aitor's wvere arrested-the proof was
full and conchasivo. 'The leaders c~f
the con sniraey Wm. do&mni to (li.
'he Centuriata sternly performed their
duties-from the Sovereign nothing
was left to hope. Servius was con
dcmned to the Tarpeian Mount, and
he prepared himself for the flute he felt
to be inevitable. lie found means to
have his last farewell borne to the
Vestal, with the assurance that his
fte was preferable to that of living
without her-that for her he had risk
ed all-dared all--and true to his
vow, having failed, was ready to suffer
all which the laws could inflict.
Ihea Sylvia was not ignorant ofthe
course of public events. She heard
of the arrest and condemnation of Sur
vius,.and that information laid bare
the secret of her guileless heart befolre
her. She loved. No sophistry could
c'nceal--no art hide it from herself.
She loved. Mad and disloyal as was
the project of Survius, it was under
taken on her part, and she, above all
others, could not censure and alan.
don him. She had learned what it was
to love, and supposed impossibilities
lost their character. To save him now
was her whole thought. She had pow
or to pardon even a traitor, could she
find the proper time to exercise her
indisputable prerogative. To do this.,
required sonic management, as her
meeting with the condemned must have
the appearance of being accidental
not sought for. It was a part of the
superstition of the times, and was so
admitted by the laws, that the acciden.
tal meeting by a Vestal of a criminal
being led to execution, was an inter
position of the gods, in favor of the
condemned, and gave her the power of
absolute pardon, if she thought proper
to grant it. It was seldom this power
was abused by the veigins, and public
opinion generally, san.-tioned their
humane decisions. Rhea Sylvia could
hope for as much indulgence from the
people of' Rome as any one of the
order, and doubted not her interferenc
would ;,cct with a cheerful acquies
cence on their part, as well as from the
.ontifx Maxim. The young Ves
t;l easily ascertained the time Survius
was to die, and took her measures ac
Two hours before meridian on the
day of execution, the priestess dressed
in her white robes of oflice, passed out
of the temple, attended by a more
numerous guard than usual, inclining,
by a circuitous route, her walk towards
the Tarpian Rock. The streets of the
city were alive with the teeming Popu
lation hastening towards the fhtal
Mount. The Vestal had calculated on
meeting the guard of Survius, as she
issued out of a narrowr street into the
main road leading to the rock; but in
this she was disappointed; the dense
multitude having blocked up the pass.
age so as to delay her passage until
the attendants of Survius had passed.
She had made an impatient gesture to
her guards, who advanced their faces
and struggled stoutly to make the
crowd give way. The delay, howev.
er, was evitable, and the fair priestess
saw her last hope of saving her lover
cut ot'. To hasten forward would
betray her design of meeting the pris
oner, and render the interposition use
"Back ," cried the angry guard in
front; -"give way for a daughter of Ves
ta." And in his impatience he struck
the man nearest to him. Under the
impulse of the moment, the blow was
returned. A shout of horror was
raised biy thme surrounding multitude,
who pressed forward to seize thme sac
rilegious assaulter of the guard of a
The confusion amounted to a riot.
At the loud and angry shout of the
multitude, the commander of the
escort having Servius in chaurge, halted
his men, uncertain wvhat the shout
might indicate.
The deep agony of the young Vestal
as she saw her hopes of safety to Ser
vius blasted, brought a deathlike pale.
tess to her cheeks and tremor to her
limbs, that rendered her insensible for
a mnoment. She wvas sinking to the
ground, overpowered by her' emotions,
whlen a casual opening in the crowd
discovered the guar'd still standing,
where she had last caught sight of them.
Love in wonman is as promnpt as ener
getic in action. The priestess discov
er'ed at a glance the true cause of the
tumult and delay, and her determina
tion was formed instantly. She rush
ed forwar'd. as if under the im pulse of'
terror, and fly ing towards the officer,
eriedl out, 'Protection for a daughter
of Vesta save me, sir officer, from the'~
populace-rsene for the guards of a
priestess oif the sacred Rre.' T he men
opened their rankuls to receive her an d
immediately closed around the Vestal
for hfer safety; whilst she, panting
sinking with her exertions and alarm.
found hersefsurpported by the strong
arm of Servius Tuillius.
A few moments sufleced to restore
tranquility to the agitated moltitude.
The assaulter of tho guard had made
his escape in the confusion, wvhilst they,
soon extrieating theimselves, advaneed
f'or ward to rcnien ten nrinest.....:.,
under their protection.
"Thanks, sir officer," said Rhen
Sylvia, "for your prompt assistance
and ready aid. The gods whom I serve
will not forget the service rendered me
in a time of apparent neeal. But, who
is the criminal in your charge? Vhat
is his name and ofrence?"
"Servius Tullius, by name, convicted
of treason and condemned by the Cen
turiata to the Tar-peian Mc unt."
"The offence is a serious one-the
punivhment most severe. Hfow many
have suifered on account of the late
"1 know not the exact number,
bautiful daughter of Vesta; this man
however, is. the last of the traitorous
band-the rest have paid the penalty
which now iEwait~s the prisoner."
It is blood enough to spill for exam
ple. Our pious Aneue Martius asks
none for revenge. The man' sluall
esca pe."
The officer bowed low to tho Ves
tal. To set the prisoner at liberty
seemed no ungrateful task to him.
"Servius Tullius, you are pardoned;
nay, no thanks. I wish not to hear the
sound of your voice. You are pardon
ed. Let this fortunate escape make
you cautious and loyal in your fiture
conduct. Return to the service of
your lawful sovereign, and redeem
your last errors. Quit Rome;" she
added emphatically, "quit Rome, with
out a moment's delay, or you may
meet with a worse fate than vou have
just escaped."
The Vestal returned to her temple,
to return thanks in secret for the for
tunate terni.ination of her day's adven
ture-to still,Iif possible, the compune
tions otfeonseinoce which forced her to
remember she had been guilty of fraud
and deception in saving the life of her
.over-to brood over that love so
dangerous to herself and its object
to still the violent b utings of t' at
gentle heart, now all too earthly for a
priestess of Vesta-to hide that burn
ing brow, feverish from the feelings
that agitated her bosom, within tl
deep and sacred recess of the temple.
Ancus .Martins, merciful and amiable
as he was in feeling. had determined
that Servius Tullius mterir ed and should
endure his fate. iHe had sonic vague
recollections that Rhea Sylvia once
was the betrothed of Servius, and
could not believe, notwithstanding the
clear and apparently satisfaetory re
port of the oflicer, that their meeting
was entirely accidental. Chagrined
and angered at the escape of Tuliu'.
he vented his ill humor in reproaches
ofthe priestess, and worked himself
into a state of mimil unfavorable to
his formnr and favorite protege.
Jealousy-envy--malice-were not
meknown in the temple of Vesta.
Rhea Sylvia had an enemy among the
guardians of the sacred fire, who hated
her for her beauty, accomplishments,
noble birth, iimmaculate purity and
high favor with the people and Ponti
fex Maximus. Personally, the mild
and amiable Virgin had never given
her aspiring rival the slightest eause of
offence. Yet she could not disarm
her of her enmity or conquer her hate
-which, petty as it was, seemed un
dying and unextinguishable. This ran
corous enemy by the mearest chance
had witnessed the Vestal's interview
with Servius in the garden of the tem
ple. Too distant to hear- the precise
w~ords that passed between them,
she was prepaired by previous em
-bittered feelings, to put the wvorst
Construction upon all she saw, and all
she heard. Determined on the Ves
tal's destruction, she buried the secret
in her bosom, until she could find a fit
ting opportunity to divulge it. Whien
it was known that Rhea Sylvia had
pardoned Servius, this enemy sought
the So vereign.Pon tif f to lay her charges
before him, exultiiig in the belief, that
they were suflicient to ensure the eon
dignt punishment of the being she so
catiselessly hated, and sought to dles
A few days afler- the pardon of'
Ser vius, the Vest al Ca~nulema doimatnded
a private interview wvith llontifex Max
imus. It wvas gramnted of course, and
the spiteful woman told her tale of
malice and revenge, wvith all the am
plification necessary toexietehr
ror and disgust of the pioust Aneeus.r
"This shall he strictly inquired
into," said the PontifTKing. "If Rheaci
Sylvial be guilty of the charges you
bring agaiinst her--if she has dared to
pollute the altars of' Vesta, she shall
abide the penalties of the law in its
utmost rig-r. Tlo-mrorrow, I oly Ca
nulela, expects us tat the temple to
proseeute this investigation."
A fter the Vestal had withdrawn, An
cus long continued walking with tunea
sy and agitated step<. There wams a
heavy depression of spirits in his man
ner--a contortioni of the brow, that
spoke of inward pain -and suffering
an unearthly sparkling of' th eye~s
that indiented some bodly or menta
struggle. It was adt ofibe oh'
Rhea Sylvia and" her" pvbab). fat
that the monarch was ti ink~a, Sias
presentiments of some impending evil
torced themselves upon his considera
tion. His vision was vague amd un
definable; yet he felt that some mighty
power was at work with:n him-that
the crisis of his own fate was not far
True to his appointment, Ancus was
early at the temple. In his character
of Pontifex Maxiuis he directed the
whole order to assemble, mothers,
priesteses and novices, to bear and
witness the investigation.
Canuleia was directed to make her
statements, and as she did so, ilhea
Sylvia heard with feelings of astonish
metant and alarm, a full and particular
account of her interview with Servius
in the garden of the terjle. The
proof, circumstantii and positive
coupled with the pardon ofServins,
she saw was overwhelming against her.
That she was in fact ianiocent of the
graver charge of having briken her
vow of chastity, she at once sAiw would
avail her nothing, uinless she could free
herself from the suspicion of. having
designedly met Servius on his way to
execution. An oath to declare the
whole truth was administered to her.
"Now priestess of Vesta answer,"
said Ancus, "stain not thy soul with
perjury, least the gods, whose altars
thou has desecrated naige Lhy punish
ment greater than man can inflict.
Answer. Art thou guilty of the crimi
nal meeting in the garden of the tem
ple? Didst thou meet Servius Tullius
by design or accident. when thou didst
pIardn the justly condemned traitor?"
Thus adjured-thus answering un
der the solemnity ofan oath, the young
Vestal sealed her fate by answering
truly. 1Ier guilt was apparent. The
king believed her even nie hste and
perjured. Her sentence was in accor.
dance with the laws and customs of
Iome. She was condemned, within
three days, to be buried alive in the
vault beneath the Colline (Gate, with
the usual forms and ceremonies,
None who saw the ghastly expret
sion-the dull and heavy eye of toe J
Pontifex Maximus-the tremor ?_d
debility of his frame, would have
doubted the deep sympathy with the
doomed Vestal. Yet sueh opinion
would have been wide the mark of
truth. Ancus Martinus das but molt
al. A fell disease revelled in his sys.
ten, leap inig him neither time nor feel
ing for sympathy with ihe sorrows of
The day of burial arrived. Rhea e
Sylvia, redolent with life and health
and beauty, was on I'er way to her
tomb. The litter was t't the door of
the temple--the people with deieeted
looks and heavy hearts stood around,
anxious to catch a last : iew of the frail
and lovely Vestal.
A horseman is s?iftly approaching
--his panting animal strains every
muscle to meet his rider's wishes. He
alights at the door of temple at the
very moment the condemned Vestal
appears. It was Servius Tullius.
'Joy-liberty-pardon'-he cried
'to the daughter of Priscus. No. lon
ger a Vestal. I oaum thee, my be
trothed. Serviu's Tulhlus has won his
Vestal bride."
The bewildered maiden corid scarce
realize the ghid tidings. 'How is itl' -
she asked. 'Has Anens Martinus r -
lented ? have you proven my inn..
cence ?
-AEr.Os Mar tinus nao longer reigns inl
Rlome- the grand-son of Numa sleeps
with' his sires.'
'Who then reigns in his place?7'
'W ho? Thou shalt hereafter, as thy
father dust already. The good Tar..
quinus Priscus, by the free election of
the Senate,- i~s now ihfth king of Rome.
Father Jupiter ! thou wert very kinid
in taking off' the good Ancus at the
lucky moment..'
We follow the fortunes of the Ves
tal no farther. Every reader of Ro..
man history knows, that upon the
death of Priscus, his son-in-lawv, Ser.vi
us Tullius, was accepted as his succes.
sor. his Vestal bride was lkng the
loved mistress of mighty Rome-the
cherished queen and wifhe of her sallh
To TonA co-CrwRs.-..The Now
York Journal 01 Commerce gives :the
fallowing wvarning to tobacco chedeos :
Ilesidles th'e pnison co~ntained (ifi
weed itself, many of our tobaceo'chew
ers are absorbing into their systems
an oxyd of lead,--the same0 wihich
kills so many painters, and paralyses
others. Lead toil is cheaper t'tin tin
ioil, and some of those who yudy pto
bacco for chewing, use the latter i
stead of the forme~r. 'L. e ounterflyit
may be known by its dark blue or blu
ish color, wherread tin felll. - nea~ly
white. Tobacco chewers w ho do ot
wish to absorb two paksons at one
will do well to proffs-- by-this caution.
A Ooo* Tar.-Tho et a~it'
which c~ arttdt ask Gx. toe
tw'e#Vto noturnl; ~ rIg

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