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University of Louisville
Comparative Literature 101
Comparative Literature 101
University of Louisville
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The Norton Anthology of World Literature (Shorter Second Edition) (Vol. 1)
The Tempest (The Annotated Shakespeare)
Selected and retold by ROGER LANCELYN GREEN Some other Puffin Classics to enjoy THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD Tales of Ancient Egypt KING ARTHUR AND HIS KNIGHTS OF THE RouNr TABLE THE LUCK OF TROY MYTHS OF THE NORSEMEN THE TALE OF TROY TALES OF THE GREEK HEROES Roger Lancelyn Green Illustrated by THE THREE MUSKETEERS AlexanderDumas HEATHER COPLEY MOONFLEET J. Meade Falkner ALLAN QUARTERMAIN KING SOLOMON?S MINES H. Rider Haggard THE PRISONER OF ZENDA Anthony Hope PUFFIN BOOKS PUFFIN BOOKS To My Niece and God-daughter V V Jane Trinder Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Books Ltd, 27 Wrights Lane, London W8 5TZ, England Penguin Books USA Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4V 3B2 Penguin Books (NZ) Ltd, 182?190 Wairau Road, Auckland 10, New Zealand Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England First published by The Bodley Head Ltd 1967 Published in Puffin Books 1970 Reissued in this edition 1995 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 Copyright (t) Roger Lancelyn Green 1967 Illustrations copyright © The Bodley Head Ltd, 1967 All rights reserved Filmset by Datix International Limited, Bungay, Suffolk Printed in England by Clays Ltd, Sr Ives plc Set in 12/15 pr Monophoto Plantin Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired our, or otherwise circulated without the publisher?s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser 212 TALES OF ANCIENT EGYPT Thief had already slipped away into the darkness, leaving the dead man?s arm in the Princess?s hands ? and she saw how cleverly she had been tricked. When Pharaoh Rameses heard of this further example of daring and craftiness, he exclaimed, ?This man is too clever to punish. The land of Khem prides itself on excelling the rest of the word in wisdom: but this man has more wisdom than anyone else in the land of Khem! Go, pro claim through the city of Thebes that I will pardon him for all that he has done, and reward him richly if henceforth he will serve me truly and faithfully.? So in the end the Treasure Thief married the Princess and became a loyal servant of Pharaoh Rameses III. Nor did he ever have any further need to enter the Royal Treasure Chamber by the secret entrance made into it by Hor-em-heb the Master Builder. THE GIRL WITH THE ROSE-RED SLIPPERS In the last days of Ancient Egypt, not many years before the country was conquered by the Persians, she was ruled by a Pharaoh called Amasis. So as to strengthen his country against the threat of invasion by Cyrus of Persia, who was conquering all the known world, he welcomed as many Greeks as wished to trade with or settle in Egypt, and gave them a city called Naucratis to be entirely their own. In Naucratis, not far from the mouth of the Nile that flows into the sea at Canopus, there lived a wealthy Greek merchant called Charaxos. His true home was in the island of Lesbos, and the famous poetess Sappho was his sister; but he had spent most of his life trading with Egypt, and in his old age he settled at Naucratis. One day when he was walking in the market place he saw a great crowd gathered round the place where the slaves were sold. Out of curiosity he pushed his way into their midst, and found that everyone was looking at a beautiful girl who had just been set up on the stone rostrum to be sold. 214 TALES OF ANCIENT EGYPT THE GIRL WITH THE ROSE-RED SLIPPERS 215 She was obviously a Greek with white skin and cheeks like blushing roses, and Charaxos caught his breath ? for he had never seen anyone so lovely. Consequently, when the bidding began, Charaxos determined to buy her and, being one of the wealthiest merchants in all Naucratis, he did so without much difficulty. When he had bought the girl, he discovered that her name was Rhodopis and that she had been carried away by pirates from her home in the north of Greece when she was a child. They had sold her to a rich man who employed many slaves on the island of Samos, and she had grown up there, one of her fellow slaves being an ugly little man called Aesop who was always kind to her and told her the most entrancing stories and fables about animals and birds and human beings. But when she was grown up, her master wished to make some money out of so beautiful a girl and had sent her to rich Naucratis to be sold. Charaxos listened to her tale and pitied her deeply. Indeed very soon he became quite besotted about her. He gave her a lovely house to live in, with a garden in the middle of it, and slave girls to attend on her. He heaped her with presents of jewels and beautiful clothes, and spoiled her as if she had been his own daughter. One day a strange thing happened as Rhodopis was bathing in the marble-edged pooi in her secret garden. The slave-girls were holding her clothes and guarding her jewelled girdle and her rose-red slippers of which she was particularly proud, while she lazed in the cool water ? for a summer?s day even in the north of Egypt grows very hot about noon. Suddenly when all seemed quiet and peaceful, an eagle came swooping down out of the clear blue sky ? down, straight down as if to attack the little group by the pool. The slave-girls dropped everything they were holding and fled shrieking to hide among the trees and flowers of the garden; and Rhodopis rose from the water and stood with her back against the marble foun tain at one end of it, gazing with wide, startled eyes. But the eagle paid no attention to any of them. Instead, it swooped right down and picked up one of her rose-red slippers in its talons. Then it soared up into the air again on its great wings and, still carrying the slipper, flew away to the south over the valley of the Nile. Rhodopis wept at the loss of her rose-red slip per, feeling sure that she would never see it again, and sorry also to have lost anything that Charaxos had given to her. But the eagle seemed to have been sent by the gods ? perhaps by Horus himself whose sacred bird he was. For he flew straight up the Nile to Memphis and then swooped down towards the palace. At that hour Pharaoh Amasis sat in the great 216 TALES OF ANCIENT EGYPT THE GIRL WITH THE ROSE-RED SLIPPERS 217 courtyard doing justice to his people and hearing any complaints that they wished to bring. Down over the courtyard swooped the eagle and dropped the rose-red slipper of Rhodopis into Pharaoh?s lap. The people cried out in surprise when they saw this, and Amasis too was much taken aback. But, as he took up the little rose-red slipper and ad mired the delicate workmanship and the tiny size of it, he felt that the girl for whose foot it was made must indeed be one of the loveliest in the world. Indeed Amasis the Pharaoh was so moved by what had happened that he issued a decree: ?Let my messengers go forth through all the cities of the Delta and, if need be, into Upper Egypt to the very borders of my kingdom. Let them take with them this rose-red slipper which the divine bird of Horus has brought to me, and let them declare that her from whose foot this slipper came shall be the bride of Pharaoh!? Then the messengers prostrated themselves crying, ?Life, health, strength be to Pharaoh! Phar aoh has spoken and his command shall be obeyed!? So they set forth from Memphis and went by way of Heliopolis and Tanis and Canopus until they came to Naucratis. Here they heard of the rich merchant Charaxos and of how he had bought the beautiful Greek girl in the slave market, and how he was lavishing all his wealth upon her as if she had been a princess put in his care by the gods. So they went to the great house beside the Nile and found Rhodopis in the quiet garden beside the pool. When they showed her the rose-red slipper she cried out in surprise that it was hers. She held out her foot so that they could see how well it fitted her; and she bade one of the slave girls fetch the pair to it which she had kept carefully in memory of her strange adventure with the eagle. Then the messengers knew that this was the girl whom Pharaoh had sent them to find, and 218 TALES OF ANCIENT EGYPT they knelt before her and said, ?The good god Pharaoh Amasis ? life, health, strength be to him! ? bids you come with all speed to his palace at Memphis. There you shall be treated with all honour and given a high place in his Royal House of Women: for he believes that Horus the son of Isis and Osiris sent that eagle to bring the rose-red slipper and cause him to search for you.? Such a command could not be disobeyed. Rho dopis bade farewell to Charaxos, who was torn between joy at her good fortune and sorrow at his loss, and set out for Memphis. And when Amasis saw her beauty, he was sure that the gods had sent her to him. He did not merely take her into his Royal House of Women, he made her his Queen and the Royal Lady of Egypt. And they lived happily together for the rest of their lives and died a year before the coming of Cambyses the Persian. TIME CHART (APPROXIMATE DATES ONLY UNTIL 1570 BC) DYNASTY I Menes unites Upper and Lower Egypt. DYNASTY III Zoser: Imhotep builds the Step Pyramid at Saqqara. Khufu: the Great Pyra mid at Giza. The Golden Lotus; Teta the Magician. Khafra: the Second Pyramid and the Sphinx. Menkaura: the Third Pyramid. DYNASTY XI Beginning of the Middle Kingdom. Amen-em-het I. The Story of Sinuhe. Amen-em-het II. The Peasant and the Workman. DYNASTY XVIII Ahmose expels the Hyksös and begins the New Kingdom. DYNASTY IV BC 3200 2700 2600 2080 2000 1570 DYNASTY XII
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