It was the life of the little day, the life of little people. And the man who had died said to himself: “Unless we encompass it in the greater day, and set the little life in the circle of the greater life, all is disaster.”
Even the tops of the hills were in shadow. Only the sky was still upwardly radiant. The sea was a vast milky shadow. The man who had died rose a little stiffly and turned into the grove.
There was no one at the temple. He went on to his lair in the rock. There, the slave-men had carried out the old heath of the bedding, swept the rock floor, and were spreading with nice art the myrtle, then the rougher heath, then the soft, bushy heath-tips on top, for a bed. Over it all they put a well-tanned white ox-skin. The maids had laid folded woollen covers at the head of the cave, and the wine-jar, the oil-jar, a terra-cotta drinking-cup and a basket containing bread, salt, cheese, dried figs and eggs stood neatly arranged. There was also a little brazier of charcoal. The cave was suddenly full, and a dwelling-place.
The woman of Isis stood in the hollow by the tiny spring.
Only one slave at a time could pass. The girl-slaves waited at the entrance to the narrow place. When the man who had died appeared, the woman sent the girls away. The men-slaves still arranged the bed, making the job as long as possible. But the woman of Isis dismissed them too. And the man who had died came to look at his house.
“Is it well?” the woman asked him.
“It is very well,” the man replied. “But the lady, your mother, and he who is no doubt the steward, watched while the slaves brought the goods. Will they not oppose you?”
“I have my own portion! Can I not give of my own? Who is going to oppose me and the gods?” she said, with a certain soft fury, touched with exasperation. So that he knew that her mother would oppose her, and that the spirit of the little life would fight against the spirit of the greater. And he thought: ‘Why did the woman of Isis relinquish her portion in the daily world? She should have kept her goods fiercely!’