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150

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - Antique Statues - 1. The Aphrodite of Melos

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I 50 ROMAN DA YS.
work. But Jorgos, who knew that statues were things
sought after in the West, would not give up his treasure
for a less sum than twenty-five thousand francs ; and this
was more than Mr. Brest was willing to assume the re-
sponsibility of giving. Meanwhile he wrote without
delay, of the matter, to his chief Pierre David, consul
general in Smyrna.
Mr. Brest, during these days, was anything but happy.
What might not take place before his letter reached
Smyrna, and before Mr. Pierre David could inform his
superior the Marquis de Riviere, ambassador at Constan-
tinople, of the discovery, and before the latter could
make any intervention ! With uneasiness, he saw every
foreign flag that approached Melos. There might be a
rival on board ! Daily he wandered between his house
and Jorgos’s cabin, and his anxiety was not lessened by
the fact that he daily found the peasant just as refrac-
tory, and the statue ever more captivating.
Three weeks after, the French man-of-war La Che-
vrette, on a cruise for scientific purposes, in the Turkish
waters, cast anchor in the port of Melos. Among the
officers on board, was a young lieutenant, of whose sci-
entific and artistic views Mr. Brest formed the highest
opinion, when he saw that the lieutenant carried with
him a Pausanias, in the original tongue, that he might
with the Baedeker of antiquity as his guide, make his
observations in the land of Hellas. The lieutenant was
called Dumont d’Urville—a name its owner afterwards
made immortal by his voyages of discovery in the South
Arctic Sea. Mr. Brest escorted the learned officer, of
course, to the niche that contained the object of his
thoughts and anxiety by day and night. But when d’Ur-
ville entered, the upper half of the figure had vanished ’

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