I did so, not at first aware what was his intention; but when I saw him
lift and poise the book and stand in act to hurl it, I instinctively
started aside with a cry of alarm: not soon enough, however; the volume
was flung, it hit me, and I fell, striking my head against the door and
cutting it. The cut bled, the pain was sharp: my terror had passed its
climax; other feelings succeeded.
"Wicked and cruel boy!" I said. "You are like a murderer--you are like a
slave-driver--you are like the Roman emperors!"
I had read Goldsmith's History of Rome, and had formed my opinion of
Nero, Caligula, &c. Also I had drawn parallels in silence, which I never
thought thus to have declared aloud.
"What! what!" he cried. "Did she say that to me? Did you hear her,
Eliza and Georgiana? Won't I tell mama? but first--"