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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

The Greek Papyri                       279
away, she says, she could taste neither food nor drink, nor could
she sleep. Equally moving and sincere is the following letter
from Taus, a woman who was perhaps a family servant:
'Taus to Apollonius her lord very many greetings. Before every-
thing I salute you, master, and I pray always for your health. I was
distressed, my lord, not a little to hear that you had been ill, but thanks
be to all the gods that they keep you safe from harm. I beg you, my
lord, if it please you, to send for me; else I die because I do not behold
you daily. Would that I were able to fly and come to you and make
obeisance to you; for it distresses me not to behold you. So be friends
with me and send for me. Goodbye, my lord.'
We may mention too among his private papers some letters from
Herodes, the architect of his new house; in one of them he
explains that owing to a death in the foreman's family they
can't work for a few days and so he asks leave to go and visit
his brother. Herodes' references to his work and the details of
the house are reminiscent of another letter, not of the same
archive but not far distant in date, in which Capito writes to
his friend Teres about the decoration of the latter's house which
he is superintending; he discusses the problem of the colonnade
which needs repair, and suggests that some mural paintings—
scenes from the Iliad, or whatever his friend would like—would
be very suitable; it is, he says, just what the place demands
(o yap TOTTOS dTratret).
One other letter from the Apollonius archive may be quoted,
of interest both for the reference to home weaving (the most
primitive form of an industry which was highly organized in
Egypt) and labour troubles, and for the vivid picture it gives of
the writer herself. It is from the hand of Eudaernonis, mother
of Aline and Apollonius, and was probably written during the
Jewish troubles:
'Eudaemonis to her daughter Aline, greeting. Before all else I pray
that you may be safely delivered and that I get news of a male child... .
It was only with difficulty that I got the wool from the dyer's on