gout and Longus' anxiety for a change of scene, eagerly
enquires for the latest news from the livelier districts of
the south, and, of course, airs his pet grievances, which
happen to be dietary — the difficulty of obtaining his
favourite delicacies, and the atrocious price of oysters in
this benighted region.
The high range of moorland is somewhat bleak and
barren, but our ride is not unpleasant. It is a bright,
clear autumn day; the sun has still some power in his
noontide rays ; and the Great Wall forms a comfortable
shelter against the north wind. Now and then we
catch a fine glimpse of long hazy ridges, far away to
the south ; and here the quiet of the lonely moor is
broken by the clink of hammers : for that low pine-
crowned hummock on our left is topped by a bed of
excellent building-stone ; the quarrymen there are ply-
ing mallet and wedge, and the stonedressers are
roughly shaping the great blocks, which are needed
to repair a gateway or rear a new granary at
Presently we come to the brow of a steep slope,
down which Wall and road plunge side by side, without
deviating from their habitual straightness. As for
ourselves, we pause for a moment before we follow
1 84 The A mateur A niiqiiary.
them, and admire the new prospect which suddenly
opens out before us. Some hundreds of feet below flows
the North Tyne, hastening southward to mingle with
his brother-stream. It is two miles to the crest of the
opposite hill, and much of either flank of the valley is
wooded, and the trees are glorious with innumerable
subtly varied shades of gold, brown, and crimson. The
flatter lartd by the river is cleared and cultivated ; and
on either side of the Wall, as it stretches from hill- top
to hill-top, is a broad treeless belt.
"There!" exclaims Longinus, with a triumphant
wave of the hand, " there is Cilurnum ! "
There it is, to be sure, like a cameo set in the long
band of the Wall, with a thin haze of half- dispersed
blue smoke hanging over its roofs and towers : a well-
packed, stoutly-walled little city of five acres or there-
abouts, nestling on a broad mound beyond the river,
like an old hen with a brood of chickens pecking round
her ; for the space to the south and east of the fortress
is dotted with suburban buildings, amongst which
Longinus' own newly-built villa stands conspicuous by
What a view, we think, and what a day! Well
might we stand here and gaze for hours, were it not for
Longinus. But more than all the glories of autumn
woods, or the delicate charm of hazy distances, Longinus
admires the wreath of smoke, which curls up from the
back premises of his own villa, and betokens cooking.
" Come," he exclaims, " if for once you can manage
to put up with soldier's fare, let us go down and see
what Stichus has in the pot yonder. But I warn you,
gentlemen, this place is a desert, and Stichus is a hope-
We have heard that sort of thing before, and
accordingly resign ourselves to the prospect of six
courses at the least.
A few minutes' riding brings us down the hill to the
bridge; for here the river cuts the Wall in two, and
The A ntateur A ntiquary, 1 85
only this strongly-guarded structure unites the halves.
The masonry of the piers and abutments is solid and
impressive ; and the roadway is formed of huge spars of
timber, and fenced on the northern side by a strong
wooden mantlet and a turret rising from each of the
three piers. On this side, too, are powerful winches,
which serve to raise or lower the huge gratings that
protect the waterways, as the river rises or falls. On
either side of the stream the Wall terminates in a
sturdy tower, which commands the passage of the
bridge; and the upper breast of each abutment is
filled by a strong outwork, so that any attack from the
river may be exposed on either flank- But Longinus
will not allow us time to make as detailed an examina-
tion as we could wish ; he leads us a few yards up the
road, which ascends from the bridge towards the city,
and then we dismount and hand over our horses to his
orderlies ; for this door at our left-hand is the entrance
to the Prefect's villa.
A few steps carry us past the obsequious old door-
keeper, through the porch, and into a large hall, a
chilly but somewhat elegant apartment, lighted by an
opening in the roof and a row of narrow windows,
which look out towards the river. The paved floor
is bare, except for the strip of cloth which carpets it
from door to door ; and the room has no other furniture
than the altar to Fortune, which stands on a pedestal
in the centre. It is here that Longinus receives his
business visitors; and he likes to oflFer them every
inducement ta go. The walls are covered with tinted
plaster, and a broad frieze runs round the top, bearing
a ring of deftly painted figures, the signs of the Zodiac
treated poetically, unless a cursory glance misinform us.
On our right, as we pass through, is a row of seven
round-topped niches, containing statues of the deities, who
preside over the seven planets and the seven days of the
week — Apollo, Diana, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus,
and Saturn— all in order, and all wonderfully carved,
VOL. XX. ^^
1 86 The A mateur A ntiqiuiry*
we declare. But Longinus is too hungry to explain tlie
origin of his art-treasures, and puts oflF until after dinner
the curious history of the starving Greek artist, and the
strange chain of events that brought him to Cilumum.
We leave our heavier garments in charge of the slaves,
and pass on into the interior of the villa, where a wel-
come surprise awaits us. Longinus' pleasure-house
contains a small but well- equipped bath, of which, at
his invitation, we are not slow to avail ourselves ; and
thus refreshed we follow him into the triclinium, a small
room scarcely more than twelve or thirteen feet square.
This room also is plastered and painted. The ceiling
shows us Neptune, surrounded by a throng of gam-
bolling sea-monsters ; the walls are adorned with broad
stripes of a conventional pattern, surmounted by a
frieze, where nymphs, wolves, bears, and trees follow
Orpheus and his lyre. Low down in one corner of th«
room is a hatch with double shutters, through which
the dishes are to be passed from the kitchen ; and since
that process is ready to begin, we take Our places on
the cushions, and listen politely to Longinus' apologies
for the shortcomings of Stichus and the difficulties of
an impromptu meal, winking at each other neverthe-?
less, when we can do so unobserved. Does the man
really believe that we never saw him send that orderly
galloping home from the mile cattle, where first wo
met him ?
However, Stichus turns out to be an unduly defamed
artist; for the dinner is excellently cooked, and our
only cause for regret lies in the fact that we have
scarcely time to do it justice. The oysters are of the
right Camulodunum breed; the trout is like cream;
and the wild sucking-pig is fit for a Lucullus. The
wine is respectable— alas ! that we have still so far to
travel this afternoon !
After dinner we pass to another room — a long
chamber, with an arched alcove at one side, and at the
further end a double door leading to a garden. Here
The Amateur Antiquary. 1 87
we are introduced to our host's family, who, for lack of
space in the triclinium, have not been able to join us at
dinner. We do our best to make ourselves agreeable ;
but the lady of the house is dull and dignified; her
daughter is bashful, and cannot do more in the way of
conversation, than to say yes and no in the wrong
places ; and the two boys are evidently itching to escape
from a sphere of uncongenial best behaviour. It is not
long before we make our excuses, and go in search of
our horses and attendants.
Longinus accompanies us \ foi* we are to take a rapid
view of Cilurnum before we pass on. We ride up the
slope, through a single-arched gateway, and so into the
town ; but presently we turn into a street which runs
north and south. Here we leave our horses for a few
minutes, and follow Longinus through the archway
which opens into the forum.
On our left, as we enter, is an open space, bounded
by a line of small court-houses and other offices ; but
these are already closed for the day, and the northern
half of the forum, though less turbulent than the market
of Corstopitum, shows more prospect of life and amuse-
ment. Round this northern part runs a portico — a colon-
nade of masonry pillars, which support a pentice roof;
and here much business is being transacted. Farmers
and farmers' wives from the neighbouring country are
tempting the soldiers of the garrison to add homely
delicacies to their monotonous rations of com and
meat. In one comer a potter has displayed his stock-
one or two pieces of Samian ware, too dear for any but
a well-to-do officer to buy, earthenware bottles and
basins from southern Britain, and so forth, down to the
rough fireproof jar, in which a trooper may bruise and
stew his ration of wheat.
On a low stand by one of the pillars a few slaves are
exhibited — part of the booty taken when last the
Asturians marched north to punish some recalcitrant
clan in the valley of the North Tyne : women and boys.
1 88 The Amateur Antiquary.
most of them, shaggy-haired and unclean, clad in rough
tunics of deerskin, and glaring a half-tearful defiance on
the idlers who come to stare and laugh, as the nimble-
tongued salesman explains that, after due washing and
instruction, these will make the most capable servants
that any master can desire, or any country produce.
Beside another pillar sits a trinket-seller — a wander-
ing Greek or Syrian, who is loud in the praises of his
coloured glass beads, his trumpery brooches, and his
little bronze statuettes — Ceres or Silvanus for the
countryman. Mars or Victory for the soldier, and
various nondescript deities, which may serve for any-
thing that the superstitious purchaser chances to
require. There he sits, chattering with never-failing
volubility in a mixture of four languages, as he tries to
tempt the fancy of a red-faced market-woman, or open
the purse of a great stolid Asturian trooper ; nor is he
in the least degree put out, though all his takings
consist of a stream of abuse from the one, and a grin of
good-natured contempt from the other.
The open space in the centre of the forum is
evidently the favourite playground of the boys of Cilur-
num — mischievous imps, who tease the potter as
assiduously as they plague the trinket-seller, and chaff
the market-woman as mercilessly as they jeer at the
captive Otadenes, who quiver with impotent rage on
the slave-dealer's stand : a free republic in the midst of
the Empire, and as cosmopolitan a company as the
world has ever seen. Here a bold Brigantian youngster
is rolling the son of an Asturian veteran in the dirt ;
here the children of a Rhaetian or Pannonian settler
are playing knuckle-bones with the boys of a Spanish
or Dalmatian merchant ; and we are not without a
shrewd suspicion that this is the paradise to which the
Prefect's sons, for all their birth and breeding, were so
eager to escape. We saw them running furtively up
the hill, as we were waiting for our horses ; and, as we
entered the forum, the flash of a white tunic, not so
The A mateuf A ntiquary, 1 89
clean as when last we saw it, showed that someone was
moved hastily to ensconce himself behind a pillar.
Yes, we were right. Every time that Longinus turns
his back, two dirty faces and two tangles of disordered
hair make their appearance at the sides of the sheltering
column. But we have been boys ourselves, and mean
to show sympathy with the young gentlemen, whose
enjoyment we have thus rudely disturbed. We wink an
answer to their comically piteous glances^ and soon
contrive to lead Longinus elsewhere.
Thus we pass on to visit the barracks and stables,
which fill the northern half of Cilurnum. A broad street
runs round them, close under the wall of the fortress,
giving an easy passage between the eastern, northern,
and western gates. Each of these entrances is an im-
posing double-arched structure, with high flanking
towers, and stout oak doors : but we are moved to
express surprise when we notice that all three open
upon the northern or outer side of the Great Wall,
which joins the walls of Cilurnum just south of the
eastern and western gates.
" Oh, for cavalry, of course," Longinus explains,
with a touch of superiority : " how do you expect me to
get cavalry out by a single gate, if we want them in a
hurry ? "
Feeling properly humiliated we are somewhat shy
of asking further questions ; and accordingly our view
of the rest of Cilurnum is likely to prove a confused
passage in our remembrance. True, the big granary,
to the south of the forum, seems likely to stick in our
memory ; but that is because minor details often succeed
in anchoring more important matters in our minds. The
granary would be as hazy as the rest, were it not for the
rat, which leapt from among the corn sacks and gave us
such a start : by Cerberus, but it was the most
monstrous that ever our eyes beheld !
Presently our brief tour brings us to the south gate-
way, where we are to part with our genial entertainer.
rgo An III Wind.
A decurion and three troopers of the Second Ala of
Asturians are waiting to supply his place and guide us
to Borcovicum : Longinus receives our hearty thanks,
and gives us a pressing invitation to look in upon him
again, if our homeward journey chance to bring us near
Cilumum ; we commit ourselves to the charge of the
decurion, and, waving a last farewell to our host, we
turn our horses' heads to the south, and ride briskly
R. H. F.
[7b be continued.'^
AN ILL WIND-
f Wiih apologies to the shade of Catullus, )
The situation of my house, dear Jones,
Weighs with an icy load upon my mind;
'Tis not that from due North, South, East and West,
Aye, from each quarter comes a biting wind:
No, since you wish to know why I dislike
The situation, I can only say,
A heavy quarter's rent has just come due,
And what is worse — I've not the funds to pay.
A. S. L.
|E had spent the evening in Oyler's rooms,
playing Nap. It was nearly the end of the
terra, and financial depression lay heavy
upon us. We accordingly decided to play
for low stakes, Oyler remarking that he thought ten
points a penny would be sufficient. We agreed
unanimously, and the game began. This was about
ten. At half-past twelve, Tompkins, who had been
plunging heavily, owed three farthings all round.
Nobody else knew what was owed by or to him ; so
we magnanimously excused Tompkins from payment,
and decided to stop. We should have slept better if
we had gone on. Oyler produced various bottles, a
kettle, a lemon, and two eggs; and after mixing up the
contents of the bottles with the lemon and one egg —
the other he spilled on his trousers — finally produced
a steaming and not unsavoury beverage, which he
called " Maiden's Blush." He explained that this was
an American term. Duly provided with an allowance
of this stimulating decoction, we sat round the fire, and
Oyler is a confirmed pessimist. We were discussing
modern sport and professionalism ; and he declared that
the constitution of sport at the present day was " rotten
to the core." (Oyler speaks at the Union.) He is also
a pessimist and a Laudator Temparts Acii. I myself
am a L. T.A.^ in a small way, but on this particular
occasion, for the sake of argument, I maintained in
opposition to Oyler that Sport to-day is no worse than
1 9 2 Prehistoric Professionals.
it used to be, and that the Greek Athletes of Olympia
were a set of " pros." — a second Northern Union. This
roused Oyler. If there is one country, one age, or one
people for whom he has a special admiration, that
country is Greece, that age is the age of Pindar, and
that people is the people of Hellas. (I quote verbatim.)
He immediately remarked that I did not know what
I was talking about ; which was very true. I retorted
with an even truer tu quoque. The discussion waxed
as the Maiden's Blush waned ; from generalities we
descended to personalities, from personalities to Bil-
lingsgate. About three o'clock, when the subject of
discussion had become unduly obtrusive, and the
Maiden's Blush had disappeared altogether, the party
broke up, and we went to bed.
Now I do not know whether it was the fault of the
Maiden's Blush or of the conversation, but the fact
remains that as soon as I fell asleep I had a singular
and not altogether uninstructive dream.
I dreamt that I was conveyed by some mysterious
agency to a warm and sunny climate ; and that I stood
upon a hill-side and surveyed a remarkable scene.
Below me spread a wide plain, containing what looked
like a race-course, lined by grand stands. I regret
to say that the scene reminded me very vividly of
Newmarket on a race day. By my side stood Oyler.
That was only to be expected. He had been drinking
Maiden's Blush too. I began to feel surprised at the
absence of the rest of our party. I asked Oyler if he
knew where we were, as I had only just arrived, and
felt a little strange. He seemed surprised at this, and
remarked that he had been there some time. (I suppose
he had drunk more Maiden's Blush than I had.) He
further informed me that we were present at a celebra-
tion of the Olympian Games. The date, according to
Boeckh, was 472 B.C., according to Bergk 476. I could
Prehistoric Professionals. 193
take my choice. He now hoped, he continued, to
prove to me, by practical demonstration, that the soul-
less and mercenary motives which I had attributed
to the athletes of Hellas were as unfounded as they
were unjust. I succeeded shortly in stopping his flow
of eloquence, and we proceeded down the hill.
We presently met Tompkins. He, it appeared, had
been there much longer than any of us, for obvious
reasons. However, he had acquired a knowledge of
the place, and volunteered to show us round.
We elbowed our way through the throng; and I
was surprised to note that the spectators, though truly
Greek in their dress and appearance, presented an
excessively modern deportment. They passed the time
of day with each other in a most free and easy style ;
they asked solemn and reverend individuals from
Thebes if their mothers knew that they were out ; and
they poked their neighbours in the ribs, knocked their
friends' hats oflF, and enjoyed themselves generally.
Some of them wore false noses, many played instru-
ments which looked very like concertinas, and nearly
all drank freely from pocket wine skins. I was sur-
prised to find that our presence caused apparently no
surprise ; but (as Tompkins afterwards remarked) some
people can stand anything.
Our first mishap befell us here. A gang of merry
youths, who had been advertising their presence by
an uproarious rendering of a ditty, with the refrain,
. • • ^KoX Kara toS vi^rov ^pvaal tpiyt% i^expSfiavTO,
suddenly linked arms and made a descent upon Oyler.
1 turned round in time to see my valued friend acting
as nucleus to a rapidly increasing heap of arms and
legs, in a position which I saw would rapidly become
serious. I immediately turned to a bystander, and in
my best Greek explained that we were visitors from
a distance; and that the conduct of the local youth
VOL. XX. CC
194 Prehistoric Professionals.
would not, in my opinion, enhance the reputation of
Elis as a pleasure resort. To which the bystander
replied with much politeness that he quite agreed with
me ; but that the youths in question were not from Elis
at all, but were an excursion from Corinth, who had
arrived that morning. We succeeded in exhuming
Oyler from the heap of humanity in which he was
entangled, and I introduced him to our new friend.
The latter proved a most useful acquisition to our
party, especially as Tompkins had been temporarily
lured from our side by a lady of prepossessing appear-
ance, who wished to tell his fortune.
Alcibiades Smith — this is a translation of his name —
gave us much interesting information. He said that
the attendance was nearly a record, and that an extra-
ordinary number of people had passed the turnstiles.
This was the first nail in Oyler's coffin. He had not
been expecting turnstiles, or even a charge for admis-
sion. Things were not so Greek and heroic as they
might have been. Mr Smith next produced a copy
of the Olympian EckOy a sporting paper of the period,
which gave full particulars of the programme, a list of
previous winners, and "Latest Tips," by "Early Worm."
The cost of the paper was two obols. " Early Worm "
(freely translated) had delivered his views on the great
race of the day as follows : —
"The upholders of the Syracusan stable may keep
their minds easy. Pherenikos has gone steadily up in
public estimation, and only the shortest prices can now
be got against him. Such a distinguished sportsman as
Hieron can never be suspected of running his horses
on the crook; and, provided that the horse keeps fit
and well in training, he should romp home an easy
winner. His trial spins have been carefully timed by
our representative, and, given a fine day and a fair
start, we predict another solid success for the sturdy
sportsman of Sicilian Syracuse. All readers of the Echo
should therefore put their tunics on
Pherenikos ! '*
Prehistoric Professionals. 1 9 5
'This," remarked Oyler, with a sigh, "is modem,
painfully modern." He sighed much oftener a little
At this moment our attention was attracted by a
man standing at the side of the road. He was dressed
in fantastic attire, and held in his hand a number of
leaflets. These he offered for sale, as his own com-
position. A poem of praise could be written at one
obol per line, and ready-made complimentary verses
were much cheaper; but a full Epinikion ode could
only be done at one mina per verse. As an example
of his genius, he chanted the following : —
Hurrah for Hiero! He's the boy
For winning sports galore I
A whetstone shrill is at my tongue :
(This is a metaphor.)
Water is best, and so is whisk —
I mean, let's sing a song.
Hiero will win this mighty race;
"So now we shanH be long'M
" Mr Pindar, I presume."
"The same: at your service. Any orders, sir?
Metaphors extra, if ready mixed."
" Not to-day, thank you. By the way, your last line
sounded somewhat commonplace."
" There is nothing new under the sun," interpolated
" By no means ! " exclaimed the bard. " I am a
noble bird (connected with the Aristocracy). I sit aloft
and sleep with heaving wings, while the jack-daws all
" Oh come away ! " said Tompkins. (He is a science
" Would any of you citizens like to see the boxing
match ? " said Alcibiades Smith, pointedly.
We eagerly seized the excuse, and the bard was left
1 96 Prehisiortc Professionals.
^I suppose Diagoras of Rhodes is favourite, said
" Oh dear no ! " said Alcibiades. " He's a *pro/ now.
He was suspended last year."
"How was that?"
"Well, he was competing as an amateur, and
winning every possible prize. Nobody knew where he
got his expenses from, as he was only a cobbler at
Rhodes. Everybody suspected that he was being paid
somehow by club secretaries, who wanted to get him as
an advertisement for their meetings ; and last year, at
the Isthmian Games, the secret came out. A detective
from Athens was set to watch him ; and he found that
after Diagoras had left his dressing room to go to the
ring, the treasurer of the Isthmian games used to slip
into the dressing room and put a mina into each of
Diagoras' boots. Of course Diagoras, when he returned,
simply put his boots on, and walked home with a mina
under each heel. They hanged the treasurer, and
" And yet you complain of the Northern Union," I
remarked to Oyler.
Oyler was long past speech. A combined series of
turnstiles, modern manners, and Bank-holiday crowds
was fast depriving him of his powers of argument.
The boxing match was not a success. The com-