"After my father's death I was the heir, but neither hunting nor riding to court, neither singing nor the clinking of beakers could please me. I went about like a sleep-walker, and it seemed as if I had no right to live without my father. Then—it is now just two years ago—a messenger brought from Weimar a letter which had come from Italy with several others, addressed to our most gracious sovereign; it contained the news that our lost brother was still alive, lying sick and wretched in the hospital at Bergamo. A kind nun had written for him, and we now learned that on the journey from Valencia to Livorno Louis had been captured by corsairs and dragged to Tunis. How much suffering he endured there, with what danger he at last succeeded in obtaining his liberty, you shall learn later. He escaped to Italy on a Genoese galley. His feet carried him as far as Bergamo, but he could go no farther, and now lay ill, perhaps dying, among sympathizing strangers. I set out at once and did not spare horseflesh on the way to Bergamo, but though there were many strange and beautiful things to be seen on my way, they afforded me little pleasure, the thought of Louis, so dangerously ill, saddened my joyous spirits. Every running brook urged me to hasten, and the lofty mountains seemed like jealous barriers. When once beyond St. Gotthard I felt less anxious, and as I rode down from Bellinzona to Lake Lugano, and the sparkling surface of the water beyond the city smiled at me like a blue eye, forgot my grief for a time, waved my hat, and sung a song. In Bergamo I found my brother, alive, but enfeebled in mind and body, weak, and without any desire to take up the burden of life again. He had been in good hands, and after a few weeks we were able to travel homeward—this time I went through beautiful Tyrol. Louis's strength daily increased, but the wings of his soul had been paralyzed by suffering. Alas, for long years he had dug and carried heavy loads, with chains on his feet, beneath a broiling sun. Chevalier von Brand could not long endure this hard fate, but Louis, while in Tunis, forgot both how to laugh and weep, and which of the two can be most easily spared?
On this moonlight night in the year 528 B. C. a bark was crossing the almost currentless Canopic mouth of the Nile. On the raised deck at the stern of this boat an Egyptian was sitting to guide the long pole-rudder, and the half-naked boatmen within were singing as they rowed. In the open cabin, which was something like a wooden summer-house, sat two men, reclining on low cushions. They were evidently not Egyptians; their Greek descent could be perceived even by the moonlight. The elder was an unusually tall and powerful man of more than sixty; thick grey curls, showing very little attempt at arrangement, hung down over his short, firm throat; he wore a simple, homely cloak, and kept his eyes gloomily fixed on the water. His companion, on the contrary, a man perhaps twenty years younger, of a slender and delicate build, was seldom still. Sometimes he gazed into the heavens, sometimes made a remark to the steersman, disposed his beautiful purple chlanis in fresh folds, or busied himself in the arrangement of his scented brown curls, or his carefully curled beard.