XVII

XVII. At the first place where she stopped, and when she believed that she was alone, she opened the chest, and laying her face upon that of her dead husband, she embraced him and wept bitterly. Then, seeing that the little boy had silently stolen up behind her, and had found out the reason of her grief, she turned upon him suddenly, and, in her anger, gave him so fierce and terrible a look that he died of fright immediately. Others say that his death did not happen in this manner, but, as already hinted, that he fell into the sea. Afterwards he received the greatest honour on account of the goddess, for this Maneros, whom the Egyptians so frequently call upon at their banquets, is none other than he. This story is contradicted by those who tell us that the true name of this child was Palaestinus, or Pelusius, and that the city of this name was built by the goddess in memory of him. And they further add that this Maneros is thus honoured by the Egyptians at their feasts because he was the first who invented music. Others again state that Maneros is not the name of any particular person, but a were customary form of complimentary greeting

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which the Egyptians use towards each other at their more solemn feasts and banquets, meaning no more by it than to wish "that what they were then about might prove fortunate and happy to them." This is the true import of the word. In like manner they say that the human skeleton which is carried about in a box on festal occasions, and shown to the guests, is not designed, as some imagine, to represent the particular misfortunes of Osiris, but rather to remind them of their mortality, and thereby to excite them freely to make use of and to enjoy the good things which are set before them, seeing that they must quickly become such as they there saw. This is the true reason for introducing the skeleton at their banquets. But to proceed with the narrative.






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