s of the Burgundians, the Herulians, the Thuringians, the Franks, are related to him; all people honour him as their father; the Sarmatians, even the distant Esthonians on the Baltic, send him skins and yellow amber in homage. Is all that----"
"All that is nothing! It is flattering words and coloured rags! Will the Esthonians help us against Belisarius and Narses with their amber? Woe to us, if we cannot win alone! These grandsons and sons-in-law flatter as long as they tremble, and when they no more tremble, they will threaten. I know the faith of kings! We have enemies around us, open and secret, and no friends beyond ourselves."
A silence ensued, during which all gravely considered the old man's words; the storm rushed howling round the weather-beaten columns and shook the crumbling temple.
Then, looking up from the ground, Witichis was the first to speak:
"The danger is great," said he, firmly and collectedly, "we will hope not unavoidable. Certainly thou hast not bidden us hit