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Thorny Path, a — Volume 12 by Georg Ebers
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By Georg Ebers

Volume 12.


Caracalla's evening meal was ended, and for years past his friends had
never seen the gloomy monarch in so mad a mood. The high-priest of
Serapis, with Dio Cassius the senator, and a few others of his suite, had
not indeed appeared at table; but the priest of Alexander, the prefect
Macrinus, his favorites Theocritus, Pandion, Antigonus, and others of
their kidney, had crowded round him, had drunk to his health, and wished
him joy of his glorious revenge.

Everything which legend or history had recorded of similar deeds was
compared with this day's work, and it was agreed that it transcended them
all. This delighted the half-drunken monarch. To-day, he declared with
flashing eyes, and not till to-day, he had dared to be entirely what Fate
had called him to be--at once the judge and the executioner of an
accursed and degenerate race. As Titus had been named "the Good," so he
would be called "the Terrible." And this day had secured him that grand
name, so pleasing to his inmost heart.

"Hail to the benevolent sovereign who would fain be terrible!" cried
Theocritus, raising his cup; and the rest of the guests echoed him.