“So fashion, lo!” said Sin Sin Wa, closing the door.
"Yes, truly, sire, evil times; but it lies in your majesty's hands to change all this, if you would give peace to Germany."
"How can I?" cried the king, violently. "Have you not heard that there are three against me?"
"I care more for ancient than modern history," said Gellert, who did not desire to follow the king upon the slippery field of politics.
"You, then, are accurately acquainted with the ancients?" said the king. "Which, then, do you think the greatest and most renowned of that epoch--Homer or Virgil?"
"Homer, I think, merits the preference, because he is original."
"But Virgil is more polished and refined."
Gellert shook his head violently. Now that the old writers were being discussed, the German sage overcame his timidity.
"We are entirely too widely separated from Virgil to be able to judge of his language and style. I trust to Quintilian, who gives Homer the preference."