To many of us an unknown figure
A star of rare
And Evangelical modesty.
At the crack of dawn Zoticus was knocking at the gate of the palace. Immediately he presented himself to the emperor and said:
“Your Majesty and most Royal Highness! I have just heard that a large ship is passing our way. They say that it is laden with rare and precious stones. Such pearls that you have never seen!!! The rarest gems in the world are hidden in its holds. You just cannot imagine how beautiful they are, your Royal Highness!”
“Give me then as much money and gold that you can spare so that I may purchase this treasure. I suggest that we should make provisions now for the public Treasury. You never know what may happen in the future with so many enemies that surround us. One day a misfortune might fall upon this city and then we will be deprived of the bare essentials. We must, therefore, fill our coffers…”
“If we have the treasure hidden away however, we will be able to manage in hard times”, he said in a louder voice. “So we must act now, Your Majesty, we haven’t a moment to lose. We must get hold of this treasure.”
“Let us do as you say, my noble lord”, replied the greedy Constantius whose ears had pricked at the very mention of the pearls.
At these words Zoticus lost no time: Joyfully he collected the emperor’s gold and took it to the soldiers, who had already started rounding up the sick, with the intention of taking them to the sea and drowning them.