Valeria, the martyr of the catacombs

9781231939031: Valeria, the martyr of the catacombs

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1883 Excerpt: ...Roman sesterces in exchange for the oboloi or drachmai of Greece, the shekels of Jerusalem, or the scarabaeus coins of Egypt. Into one of these alcoves the three friends now turned, Isidorus promising himself that he would only look on. He had been excessively addicted to play, but had, notwithstanding occasional success, lost so much money that he had abjured the seductive vice, especially since his visit to the Catacomb with his friend Faustus, who had urged him to forsake a practice so perilous in itself, and so opposed to Christian conduct. Calphurnius and Rufus sat down to the gaming table, and the Greek stood looking on. The gold was placed in two piles on the board. The dice rattled, and eager eyes took in at a glance the number of red spots on the upper surface. Rufus seemed to have recovered his good fortune. Throw after throw was successful. "That is the Jactus Venereus," he exclaimed with exultation, as he made the cast that counted highest. "We must have wine, and I must be toast-master," for so was called the leader of the revels. The Greek watched with honest interest the play, his eye flashing and his pulse quickening under its strange spell. The richest wines of Chios and Lesbos were ordered; and as the wine was poured into jewelled goblets, he required slight urging to partake of the fragrant vintage of the Isles of Greece. The eager play was resumed. The Greek noted each practised turn of the wrist and cast of the dice, his eye kindling and his brain throbbing with the subtle intoxication of both the game and the wine. "I've won enough," said Rufus; "I've got back my own, and more. I don't want to ruin you, my good fellow;" and he positively declined to play any more. His honest nature recoiled from ...

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