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Sylla was now in the possession of absolute power. He was master of Rome, and of all the countries over which Rome held sway. Still he was nominally not a magistrate, but only a general returning victoriously from his Asiatic campaign, and putting to death, somewhat irregularly, it is true, by a sort of martial law persons whom he found, as he said, disturbing the public peace. After having thus effectually disposed of the power of his enemies, he laid aside, ostensibly, the government of the sword, and submitted himself and his future measures to the control of law. He placed himself ostensibly at the disposition of the city. They chose him dictator, which was investing him with absolute and unlimited power. He remained on this, the highest pinnacle of worldly ambition, a short time, and then resigned his power, and devoted the remainder of his days to literary pursuits and pleasures. Monster as he was in the cruelties which he inflicted upon his political foes, he was intellectually of a refined and cultivated mind, and felt an ardent interest in the promotion of literature and the arts.

There, grouped around his table, sat the Dominie, Doctor Critchel, Bright the inn-keeper, and the schoolmaster, for Hanz had invited them to sup with him, and Angeline had prepared the best she had to set before them. There, too, was Tite's empty chair. There it stood, silent and touching, all the pleasant memories it once contained made sad now by the mystery that enshrouded his long absence. There was his plate, and his knife and fork, all so bright and clean, set as regularly as if he were home, and guarded so tenderly. The eloquence of that vacant chair, appealing so directly to the finer sensibilities of every one present, left a deep and sad impression. Supper was nearly over before any of the guests had courage to refer to it. The Dominie at length raised his spectacles and addressing Angeline, said: "Heaven gives to every house its idol. We have been blessed to-day, and made happy. It will yet please Heaven to bring back the idol of this house, and fill that empty chair. I am sure we shall all be glad when the boy gets home."

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