A Last visit to Arcadius
This Falernian is only a little grape-juice, and this purple robe some sheep's wool dyed with the blood of a shell-fish. -- Marcus Aurelius.

It only remains to bid farewell to some of those whom we have learnt to know in these pages.

When Philip returned to Miriam at Antioch he found her and his little Eutyches safe and well; and, sad as had been the last days of his friend and father, Chrysostom, his name soon became a happy and tender memory among his friends. When all is over, and a man has died in the defeat of misery and persecution, jealousy dies, and rancour has nothing left on which to feed. The Theophiluses and Severians were sated with successful malignity, and their own retribution, as we have seen, failed not to fall upon them. Meanwhile, in the unanimous admiration of the West the name of the Patriarch John began to shine with brighter and brighter lustre. Pope Innocent and all the great Italian bishops vindicated his innocence, denounced the vile plots of which he had been the victim, and, treating with indignant contempt the libels of Theophilus, translated by Jerome, they honoured his character and cherished his example as that of a saint and martyr. All that could now be done for his memory was to induce the Patriarch Atticus to restore his name to the diptychs which recorded the succession of the Patriarchs of Constantinople. In this, in spite of the angry opposition of Cyril, the nephew of Theophilus, and now Patriarch of Alexandria -- who said that it would be as bad to record the name of Judas as that of John -- they eventually succeeded.

Meanwhile the fate of Chrysostom produced age-long consequences, both in the Eastern and Western Empires. Henceforth the Eastern Patriarchate produced no champion of the people against oppression, robbery, and wrong; no God-gifted organ-voice' of prophecy to denounce the ostentation of selfish luxury and the guilt of sensual corruption; no mighty Church leader to confront the banded unions of civil tyranny. The succeeding Patriarchs of Constantinople were most frequently commonplace nullities like the worldly Nectarius, or narrow bigots like John the Faster, or sticklers for the niceties of theological shibboleths, or at the best amiable scholars like Proclus. In the long lapse of the ages not one great saint or orator like Chrysostom swayed the diminished powers of the Church in the great Eastern metropolis.

Further, the dispute about Chrysostom widened the breach between the East and the West. The ever-dwindling authority of the Western Emperor -- till the Empire was extinguished in the feeble person of the poor boy who, in the singular irony of history, was known by the double name of Romulus Augustulus -- tended to increase the ever-deepening influence of the Popes of Rome. A distracted age yearned for guidance, and, finding none from its civil rulers, looked up to the chief Bishop of the West, who, in the persons of men like Leo I. and Gregory the Great, became, almost by the natural force of circumstances, the oracle of a world face to face with the difficult task of reconstructing a civilisation which was being submerged under flood after flood of barbarian invaders.

To Philip the memory of Chrysostom remained through life an ideal and an inspiration. He had passed through the deep water-floods in youth, but his manhood was peaceful and very prosperous. For, with his experience of life, his natural shrewdness, his ready tact, his knowledge of business, his conscientious diligence and unswerving integrity, he soon made himself indispensable to Anthemius and to his chief officials. An Antiochene by birth, he understood the temperament and knew the susceptibilities of the Syrian people among whom he worked; a Pagan by birth, he was quick to recognise the best and kindest method of winning the confidence of sincere Pagans; a Christian of broad sympathies, he did not carry into the civil government the furious spirit with which the theological insects' of the day were constantly endeavouring to sting one another to death. Favoured by Arcadius, who not infrequently inquired about him, and even condescended to send him messages, he rose with extraordinary rapidity in the political world, and before he had reached the prime of manhood became one of the leading personages in his native city. The brightness of the sunshine came to him all the more delightfully from its contrast with the blackness of the preceding storms.

About six months after the death of Chrysostom the Count Anthemius sent Philip with important despatches to Constantinople. Accompanied by an imperial escort, he traversed the same ground over which he had ridden with the soldiers of Aurelian, when he was an unknown youth accompanying Chrysostom to the fulfilment of his mysterious destiny. It was natural that, in his altered circumstances, he should revive many memories; but now the happy peace of his home and the success of an honourable career helped to soften all thoughts of bitterness. He stayed for a few days at the little farm now contentedly cultivated by Palladius, the former Bishop of Helenopolis, who had been driven from his see as a Johannite. It was from Philip that Palladius mainly derived the vivid picture of the exile and last days of Chrysostom which he has embodied in his lively and famous dialogue. He also visited the ruined area of the church of the orthodox Goths, where he had been a witness of the dreadful massacre; and he watched the now nearly completed restorations of St. Sophia and the Senate-house. He received a cordial welcome from his friend Aurelian, now for the second time Prætorian Præfect, and from the chamberlains Amantius and Briso. He went, naturally, to the house in the Chalkoprateia, where he had first seen Miriam, the wife of his heart, and David, the friend of his life. He even ventured to visit the Patriarcheion, with which he had been so familiar. He would not visit the Patriarch Atticus; but an attendant showed him the Thomaites, and his old bedroom, and the antechamber where he and his friends had spent so many happy hours. Then, with bowed head and folded hands, he went into the room which had been Chrysostom's study. It looked very different from what it had done in old days. It was now a subordinate guest-chamber, richly adorned with tapestries and hangings, and showing all the magnificence with which the Palace had arrayed itself in the days of the Patriarch Nectarius. Philip closed the book of his old memories as with a golden clasp as he knelt long in silent prayer beside the obscure grave of the beloved young martyr, Eutyches.

He paid his respects to Nicarete in the humble home to which confiscation had reduced her, and he found the dear old lady as bright and cheerful in her poverty as she had been in her wealth. She still went among the poor with her little medicine-box; and Philip, whom she pronounced to be as saucy as ever, chaffingly declared himself to be the victim of all sorts of unheard-of maladies, and demanded pills and simples for the certain cure of premature elephantiasis, and other disasters, of which he felt sure that Nicarete read the traces in his features, though they now shone with contumacious health.

He never saw her again. He visited Olympias in her villa at Cyzicus, and she listened with eager interest to all the details of the death of him of whom she now always spoke as God's martyred saint.' She never recovered from the deeply seated melancholy which had overmastered her spirit amid the tremendous outburst of calamities which had accompanied and followed the overthrow of the Patriarch. She died in Nicomedia, whither she had removed from Cyzicus. The legends which grew up around her name related that on her deathbed she was bidden by a vision to order that her coffin should be cast into the sea. It was carried from the Propontis into the Bosporus by winds and waves, a current swept it away from the evil city of Constantinople, and it was cast on the opposite shore at Brocthi, where she was buried, and many miracles attested the sanctity of her tomb.

Before he left Constantinople Philip was again summoned to a private interview with the Emperor. Arcadius greeted him with unusual warmth, and again begged him to lay aside all ceremonious formalities, and speak to him with perfect freedom as man to man.

I am somewhat lonely since Eudoxia died,' he said, 'and though I am cheered by the prattle of my children, I do not often find anyone to talk to as a man talketh with his friend. I hope you are happy at Antioch, Philip. I told Anthemius to look after you well, and I hope that his Sublimity has done so.'

He has been most kind,' said Philip, and I humbly thank your Imperial goodness.'

You know I am indebted to you, Philip, and I mean to show myself grateful. You have seen my handwriting before. I am rather vain of it. Here is another specimen of it. Read it.'

It was what we should call a patent of nobility. Philip read with astonishment that hereby the Emperor raised him to the rank of an Illustris. Arcadius watched him with a smile. He knelt on one knee, kissed the Emperor's extended hand, and, humbly thanking him for this signal mark of his favour, said that he would make it his utmost effort to promote the Emperor's best desires in Syria.

You have done so already, Philip,' said Arcadius kindly. Antioch was never in a more quiet and satisfactory state than now; and Anthemius writes to me that this is due in great measure, not only to your capacity and faithfulness, but also to your great popularity among your fellow-citizens. They will be pleased as well as you by the rank I have conferred upon you. But now I want you to tell me all about the death of the poor Patriarch John.'

Arcadius felt a little astonished by the flow of his own conversation; but then,' as he said to himself, I have so many intriguers, sycophants, place-hunters, and hypocrites about me. It is not once a year that I get the chance of talking to a sincere and true man.'

Philip recounted to him the last scenes, of which he had been a witness, and Arcadius sighed deeply. I never intended all this,' he said; I gave no orders for it. It was all the doing of the bishops. I will order Aurelian to cashier that wretch Secundus, and to raise Cythegius a step.'

You graciously accord me great freedom in speaking to your Clemency,' said Philip. I trust I do not abuse it if I venture to urge that you should order the Patriarch Atticus to restore John's name to the diptychs, and to bring back his remains from Comana, and have them buried in St. Sophia.'

Arcadius opened his eyes wider than usual. Ah!' he said, sighing again, you little know what tumults and troubles that would cause. I dare not. Perhaps it may be done hereafter by my son. Have you ever seen my little Porphyrogenete?'

I only saw him as an infant, sire,' said Philip, when he was baptised in the Cathedral, and when the little hand of the Augustus held the petition which, for his sake, you granted to my kind friend, the Bishop of Gaza.'

You shall see him,' said Arcadius; and, summoning a gorgeously dressed slave by the tinkle of a golden bell, he ordered him to lead in the young Augustus.

The little Prince -- a child of six -- was led in by the Count of the Chamber. He was dressed in purple silk embroidered with gold, and was a splendid little boy, in whom was reproduced the fine beauty of his Frankish mother rather than the poor physique of his father. Arcadius, who was intensely fond and proud of him, took him in his arms, and pressed him to his heart.

Who is you?' said the child, when Philip had given him his respectful homage.

That,' said the Emperor, is Philip, an Illustris of Antioch. When you sit on your father's throne, my Theodosius, you must know him and love him, and he will be your good servant and adviser.'

I likes you,' said the ungrammatical child, looking at Philip with large eyes. I wants to kiss you.'

Philip was alarmed by the suggestion of such an unwonted honour as a kiss from the lips of the august infant; but Arcadius said, Kiss him, my child, and remember him.'

Philip thought of his own little Eutyches, and frankly returned his kiss. Then the Emperor sent the boy back to the Purple Chamber, and said to Philip, I used to think, after the hailstorm, and the earthquake which shook down the golden cross on the Capitol, and the famine and plague, and rumours of troubles from the East and from the West, that God was angry with me; but when I look at my little Pulcheria, Arcadia, Marina, and Theodosius, I feel sure that I am forgiven, though Nilus gave me no encouragement. Have you heard the signal mark of His mercy which God gave me a few days ago?'

I only heard a vague rumour,' said Philip.

I had been to worship in the Karya, the large martyry by the nut-tree on which the martyr Acacius was hanged. I had barely left the place, and all the crowd of spectators with me, when the whole building suddenly collapsed. Had it happened a moment or two earlier hundreds might have been crushed to death. The people regard it as a miracle, for not one was hurt. It made me feel very happy.'

It was assuredly a marvellous deliverance, sire, and a clear mark of God's protection.'

Farewell, my good Illustris,' said the Emperor. I am not well. I do not think that my life will be prolonged. Before you go take this, and wear it for my sake, and as a mark of my favour -- I had almost said, of my affection.'

He took off a gold ring set with immense emeralds, and slipped it on Philip's finger. An "Illustrious" should have ornaments suitable to his rank,' he said.

I know not how sufficiently to thank your Imperial Dignity for so many and such great favours,' said Philip, as he again kissed the Emperor's hand. I will endeavour to be worthy of them, and I will daily pray to God for your happiness.'

They never met again. Arcadius died on May 1, 408, seven months after the death of Chrysostom. He was only thirty-one, and was succeeded by the little Theodosius II., for whom his sister Pulcheria acted at first as regent.

chapter lxviii the martyrdom
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