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PROLOGUE

On a farm in the Sabine hills of a planet called Earth, a poet takes a stylus from the fingers of a nude slave girl and writes, very quickly, And Crassus' wretched soldier takes a barbarian wife from his captors and grows old waging war for them. 


The poet looked at the line with a pleased expression. "It needs polish, of course," he muttered. Then, more directly to the slave, he says, "You know, Leuconoe, there's more than inspiration to poetry, a thousand times more; but this came to me out of the air."


Horace gestures with his stylus toward the glittering night sky. The girl smiles back at him.


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Framed