FIRST MAN: We worship seven gods. We may not tell their names. It is a very dangerous thing to tell the names of the gods. No one should ever tell the name of his god. Even the priests who praise the gods all day long, and eat of their food with them, do not call them by their right names.
MYRRHINA: Where are these gods ye worship?
FIRST MAN: We hide them in the folds of our tunics. We do not show them to any one. If we showed them to any one they might leave us.
MYRRHINA: Where did ye meet with them?
FIRST MAN: They were given to us by an embalmer of the dead who had found them in a tomb. We served him for seven years.
MYRRHINA: The dead are terrible. I am afraid of Death.
FIRST MAN: Death is not a god. He is only the servant of the gods.
MYRRHINA: He is the only god I am afraid of. Ye have seen many of the gods?
FIRST MAN: We have seen many of them. One sees them chiefly at night time. They pass one by very swiftly. Once we saw some of the gods at daybreak. They were walking across a plain.
MYRRHINA: Once as I was passing through the market place I heard a sophist from Cilicia say that there is only one God. He said it before many people.
FIRST MAN: That cannot be true. We have ourselves seen many, though we are but common men and of no account. When I saw them I hid myself in a bush. They did me no harm.
MYRRHINA: Tell me more about the beautiful young hermit. Talk to me about the beautiful young hermit who will not look on the face of woman. What is the story of his days? What mode of life has he?
FIRST MAN: We do not understand you.
MYRRHINA: What does he do, the beautiful young hermit? Does he sow or reap? Does he plant a garden or catch fish in a net? Does he weave linen on a loom? Does he set his hand to the wooden plough and walk behind the oxen?
SECOND MAN: He being a very holy man does nothing. We are common men and of no account. We toll all day long in the sun. Sometimes the ground is very hard.
MYRRHINA: Do the birds of the air feed him? Do the jackals share their booty with him?
FIRST MAN: Every evening we bring him food. We do not think that the birds of the air feed him.
MYRRHINA: Why do ye feed him? What profit have ye in so doing?
SECOND MAN: He is a very holy man. One of the gods whom he has offended has made him mad. We think he has offended the moon.
MYRRHINA: Go and tell him that one who has come from Alexandria desires to speak with him.
FIRST MAN: We dare not tell him. This hour he is praying to his God. We pray thee to pardon us for not doing thy bidding.
MYRRHINA: Are ye afraid, of him?
FIRST MAN: We are afraid of him.
MYRRHINA: Why are ye afraid of him?
FIRST MAN: We do not know.
MYRRHINA: What is his name?
FIRST MAN: The voice that speaks to him at night time in the cavern calls to him by the name of Honorius. It was also by the name of Honorius that the three lepers who passed by once called to him. We think that his name is Honorius.
MYRRHINA: Why did the three lepers call to him?
FIRST MAN: That he might heal them.