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The Spartan Twins   By: (1865-1937)

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First Page:

THE SPARTAN TWINS

By Lucy Fitch Perkins

1918

CONTENTS

LIST OF CHARACTERS I. COMPANY AT THE FARM II. THE STRANGER'S STORY III. THE SHEPHERDS IV. SOWING AND REAPING V. THE TWINS GO TO ATHENS VI. THE FESTIVAL OF ATHENA VII. HOME AGAIN

THE SPARTAN TWINS

The Characters in this Story are :

MELAS, a Spartan living on the Island of Salamis, just off the coast of Greece. He is Overseer on the Farm of Pericles, Archon of Athens.

LYDIA, Wife of Melas, and Mother of Dion and Daphne.

DION and DAPHNE, Twin Son and Daughter of Melas and Lydia.

CHLOE, a young slave girl, belonging to Melas and Lydia. She had been abandoned by her parents when she was a baby, and left by the roadside to die of neglect or be picked up by some passer by. She was found by Lydia and brought up in her household as a slave.

ANAXAGORAS, "the Stranger," a Philosopher, friend of Pericles.

PERICLES, Chief Archon of Athens.

LAMPON, a Priest.

A Priest of the Erechtheum.

DROMAS, LYCIAS, and Others, Slaves on the Farm of Pericles.

Time: About the middle of the Fifth Century B.C.

[Illustration: Plan of home of the Spartan Twins]

I

COMPANY AT THE FARM

One lovely spring morning long years ago in Hellas, Lydia, wife of Melas the Spartan, sat upon a stool in the court of her house, with her wool basket beside her, spinning. She was a tall, strong looking young woman with golden hair and blue eyes, and as she twirled her distaff and twisted the white wool between her fingers she sang a little song to herself that sounded like the humming of bees in a garden.

The little court of the house where she sat was open to the sky, and the afternoon sun came pouring over the wall which surrounded it, and made a brilliant patch of light upon the earthen floor. The little stones which were embedded in the earth to form a sort of pavement glistened in the sun and seemed to play at hide and seek with the moving shadow of Lydia's distaff as she spun. On the thatch which covered the arcade around three sides of the court pigeons crooned and preened their feathers, and from a room in the second story of the house, which opened upon a little gallery enclosing the fourth side of the court, came the clack clack of a loom.

As she spun, the shadow of Lydia's distaff grew longer and longer across the floor until at last the sunlight disappeared behind the wall, leaving the whole court in gray shadow.

Under the gallery a large room opened into the court. The embers of a fire glowed dully upon a stone hearth in the center of this room, and beyond, through an open door, fowls could be seen wandering about the farm yard. Suddenly the quiet of the late afternoon was broken by a medley of sounds. There were the bleating of sheep, and the tinkle of their bells, the lowing of cattle and the barking of a dog, the soft patter of bare feet and the voices of children.

Then there was a sudden squawking among the hens in the farm yard, and through the back door, past the glowing hearth and into the court, rushed two children, followed by a huge shepherd dog. The children were blue eyed and golden haired, like their Mother, and looked so big and strong that they might easily have passed for twelve years of age, though they really were but ten. They were so exactly alike that their Mother herself could hardly tell which was Dion and which was Daphne, and, as for their Father, he didn't even try. He simply said whichever name came first to his lips, feeling quite sure that the children would always be able to tell themselves apart, at any rate. Daphne, to be sure, wore her chiton a little longer than Dion wore his, but when they were running or playing games she often pulled it up shorter through her girdle, so even that was not a sure sign.

Lydia looked from one of them to the other as the children came bounding into the court, with Argos, the dog, barking and leaping about them, and smiled with pride... Continue reading book >>




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