Citation
Old stories of the East

Material Information

Title:
Old stories of the East
Series Title:
Eclectic school readings
Creator:
Baldwin, James, 1841-1925
American Book Company ( Publisher )
J.S. Cushing & Co ( Typographer )
Place of Publication:
New York ;
Cincinnati ;
Chicago
Publisher:
American Book Company
Manufacturer:
Typography by J.S. Cushing & Co.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
215 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Bible stories, English -- O.T -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Children's stories ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1896 ( lcsh )
Readers -- 1896 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1896
Genre:
Children's stories
Readers ( rbgenr )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York
United States -- Ohio -- Cincinnati
United States -- Illinois -- Chicago
United States -- Massachusetts -- Norwood
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by James Baldwin.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026581380 ( ALEPH )
ALG2000 ( NOTIS )
12144594 ( OCLC )

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ECLECTIC SCHOOL READINGS

OLD STORIES OF THE EAST

BY :

JAMES BALDWIN

NEW YORK::: CINCINNATI-:- CHICAGO
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY



CopyRIGHT, 1896, BY
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY,



STO, OF THE EAST,

W. P. 2.



PREFACE.

THERE are few stories which in themselves are more intensely
interesting than those that have come down to us from antiquity
through the medium of the Hebrew Scriptures. Yet they have
been so generally and so exclusively employed for the purpose of
imparting religious instruction, that their purely literary qualities
have not always received the attention which they merit. By
very many persons, grown-up people as well as children, they are
regarded as being inseparably connected with the services of the
Sunday school and the Church, and hence scarcely to be thought
of during the secular days of the week. There is really no good
reason why this should be so. Indeed, there is no good reason
why children in the day schools should not read these old stories
of the East with as much freedom and with as eager zest as they
peruse the classic myths of Greece or the ever-charming tales
with which the world of modern fiction abounds.

In the present volume it has been the aim of the author to
retell these stories from a literary standpoint, and in exactly the
same manner as he would retell other stories pertaining to the
infancy of the human race. He has endeavored to represent
the actors in them as real men and women inhabiting the same
world as ourselves ; and, while it has been neither possible nor

3



4

desirable to omit frequent allusions to the supernatural, care has
been taken not to trespass on the domain of the religious teacher,
In order the better to carry out this plan, the Hebrew names are
used sparingly, and are often omitted in favor of their English
equivalents. It is believed that this device will not only give to
some of the stories < flavor of newness, but that it will in many
instances help the young reader to a readier appreciation of their
beauty.

While each of the twelve stories in this volume is wholly inde-
pendent of the others, and may be read without any knowledge
of those which precede it, there is nevertheless a continuity from
the first to the last, giving to the collection the completeness of a
single narrative. It comprises, in short, the history of the origin
of the Hebrew race, and of the chief events connected with the
life of that people down to the period of their greatest prosperity.

Whether or not this presentation of the subject may be an
incentive to a closer acquaintance witl; the matchless volume from
which the stories are derived, has not been a matter of considera-
tion on the part of the writer. His sole aim has been to prepare
a book which all children at school may read with pleasure, both
because of the simple language in which it is written and: because
of the conceptions of beauty and truth that are found in the
stories which it contains.



CONTENTS.

pen
5 PAGE
THE GARDEN OF DELIGHT : ‘ : . . Fs : 7
THE Two BROTHERS : . ted a . : » 14
THE FLOOD OF WATERS . : 5 . . . . . 18
THE GREAT CHIEF.
I. The Promise . : i j " . 5 elo
II. The New Name. . ‘ . . . . - . 30
III. The Strangers . : . . : . aden S
IV. The Burnt Offering . . ‘ : 5 : - 36
V. TheFaithfulServant .« . . . +. + 39
Views Beauty-and: Laughter’. © i000. a ea
THE MASTER OF THE LAND OF THE NILE.
I. The Dreamer . : . 3 : ; . oe eb
IJ. TheJourney . : ; : : ‘ . Sieh 3
III. The Dry Well . : : : ° ° : . 58
TVeeee Phe: Caravan esi5. is ate ae he pede — pe eA 63
V. The Prison : : : . : : : . 67
VI. The Dreams. ; ; : . : : - 70
VII. The Ten Strangers . , : 7 ‘ . ETT,
VIII. The Little Brother . : s . § -. 80
IX. The Discovery . : : : ‘ : : . 83
Tue GREAT LAWGIVER.
I. The King’s Daughter . ages : : . 88
II. The Shepherd . : ; . . : . .- 93
Il]. The Burning Bush. ; ; . : . : 97
IV. The Ten Plagues : : : : ae . Ior
V. The Long Journey . . . . ; . - 106



“ THE MAN WHOSE EYES WERE OPEN.”
I. The Soothsayer .
II. The Vision
III. The First Mountain
IV. The Second Mountain
V. The Third Mountain .

TuE BEE AND THE GAZELLE.
I. The Bee
II. The Gazelle
III. The Song .

IpDoL BREAKER.
I. The Idol
Il. The Angel
III. The Camp.
IV. The Flight

THE STORY OF SPLENDID SUN.
I. The Wanderers .
II. The Stranger
III. The Riddle
IV. The Foxes.
V. The Secret.
VI. The Temple

A Story OF HARVEST TIME.
I. The Gleaner
II. The Harvest Feast
III. The Wedding

THE SHEPHERD BOY WHO BECAME KING.

I. The Seer
‘II. The King .
III. The Giant .
IV. The Camp.

V. The Sling .

PAGE

112
115
119
123
125

128
132
139

143
145
151
155

160
163
166
173
180
184

187

194.
196

199 ©
202
204
206
210








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THE GARDEN OF DELIGHT.

Once there was a Man, and he lived in a wonder-
ful garden. I do not know how large the garden
was, but it was full of beautiful things. Four rivers
flowed through it; and there were many little lakes
and waterfalls, and cool, bubbling springs. All the
finest fruits in the world grew there, and the trees
were full of blossoms, and the ground was covered
with flowers the whole year round: for there was
no winter there,—no snow, nor ice, nor killing
frost; but every day the warm winds blew softly
from the sea, and the mild sun looked down from
the clear blue sky.

The Man had been in the garden ever since he
could remember. The great Master had placed
him there to watch and tend it. For a long time

7



8

he was very happy, and he had no thought of any-
thing but of his work and of the many beautiful
things that were around him. After a while, how-
ever, he began to feel very lonely in that great
garden all by himself. He thought’ how much
better it would be if he could only have some one
to talk with, and to help him in his work. He
could not remember that he had ever seen any
human being, and he did not know whether there
were any other men or women in all the world.
But he was very lonely; and the more he thought
about it, the lonelier he became.
One day the Master sent a Woman into the
_ garden, to live there and to be the Man’s wife. .
She was very beautiful,— graceful and tall and
fair; and when the Man saw her, he was filled with
wonder and delight. And she was pleased too;
for the Man was noble and strong and brave and
handsome, and all that the Master had told her
about him was true. And so the two lived together
in the garden, and tended and kept it. They had
a care not only for the flowers and fruits, but for
the animals; for among the trees there were many
birds, and all kinds of beasts roamed freely about
-the garden. When the Man and the Woman
walked out, every creature was glad to see them.
Lions and tigers, as well as the timid little animals



9
of the fields, would play before them; and all kinds
of birds would sing in the branches above them.
Everything that lived in the garden was tame
and gentle, and there was nothing that would hurt
any one or make one afraid. There was not even
a thorn or a thistle to be found anywhere.

In the very center of the garden there stood a
wonderful tree that was always full of fine fruit.
The Man and the Woman went often to look at it,
and to sit in its shade; but they did not touch
the beautiful apples that grew upon its branches.
The Master of the garden had told the Man to let
them alone.

“You may eat every other kind of fruit,” he said,
“but you must never, never taste these apples.”

And then he told the Man what would happen if
he should ever taste them. There was a kind of
poison in them that would change his whole nature.
He would grow tired of his work; he would be-
come restless and ill at ease; he would grumble
and complain; he would make everybody unhappy;
he would frighten the birds, and they would fly
away from him; he would abuse the beasts, and
they would become his enemies; he would neglect
his duty, and thorns and thistles would spring up;
and by and by he would die.

Often when the Man and the Woman looked at



Io

the fruit, they wondered how anything so beautiful
could doso much harm. But whenever the thought |
came into their minds that they would like to have
just one taste of it, the Man would shake his head,
and say, “ The Master forbids.”

Then, hand in hand, they would walk away; and
the birds in the trees would sing as they passed,
and the beasts would dance before them.

There was one cunning Beast, however, that did
not love the Man and Woman. He was a strange
creature, that was never so happy as when plotting
mischief. But in the garden, where everything was
friendly to everything else, he did not dare to do
any harm openly.

One day he met the Woman alone, sis after she
had been looking at the beautiful fruit. He knew
that she wanted to taste it.

“ Do you believe what the Master told you about
those apples?” he said.

“Yes,” she said; “for the Master planted the
tree, and he knows all about its fruit.”

“You are very silly,” said the cunning Beast. “I
know all about the fruit, and I tell you it will not
hurt you at all.”

“ But why, then, should the Master forbid us to
taste it?” she asked.

“He knows that it will make you wise,” he said.



II

“ He knows that it will make you like him; and he
wants to keep you poor and ignorant and weak, so
that you will not know how to do anything but tend
and keep his garden.”

“The fruit really is beautiful,” said the Woman;
and she turned and looked at the tree again. :

‘“And it is good, too,” said the Beast. “Come,
I'll get one of the apples for you, and you can taste
it. He will never know.”

And while the Woman stood and hardly knew
what to do, the Beast ran and pulled one of the
apples from the tree and gave it to her. It seemed
to be prettier than ever, now that it lay in her hand.

She would just take a little taste. It could do no
harm.

Ah! but it was so good, that she ate it all up.

Then she thought it would be a great pity if the
Man could not taste of the fruit too; and she went
to, the tree and picked the finest apple she could
reach, and ran to give it to him.

“Tt is not true about those apples,” she said. “I
have eaten one of them, and it hasn’t hurt me at all.
And so I have brought you one. Just taste it, and
see how good it is.”

“Well, the Master will never know,” said the
Man; and he took the apple, and ate it, and thought
it was very good.



12

A little while after that, the Master came into the
garden to look at things and to talk with the Man
and the Woman; for he very often came in the cool

of the evening, and walked with them among the
“ flowers. and trees. They heard him calling their
names, and they felt sure that he had found out all
about what they had done. So, instead of answer-
ing him and running to meet him, as they had
always done before, they made haste and hid them-
selves in a thicket of underbrush.

But the Master saw them, and bade them come
out. Then he asked what they had been doing to
make them afraid of him. Of course, they had
to tell him. But the Man tried to put all the
blame on the Woman.

“ She gave it to me, and & did eat,” he said.

And then the Woman tried to excuse herself, and
said that it was the fault of the cunning Beast.

“He told me that it would not harm us,” she
said. “He told me that if we would eat of it, we
should be wise; and when he offered me one of the
apples, it was so beautiful that I could not help but
taste it.”

‘But did I not forbid you even to touch the
fruit of the tree?” said the Master. “Did I not
tell you that, if you did so, it would cause grief
and pain and death? And now, strange to say,



13

you have chosen to believe this Beast rather than
me.” ,

The Man hung his head, and said not a word;
and the Woman wept.

Then the Master told them what he would do to
punish them. As for the Beast, he was turned into
a serpent, and has crawled on the ground and been
hated by all men ever since. And as for the
Man and the Woman, they were driven out of the
Garden of Delight, and were told that they must
work for their bread ail the rest of their days.
Thorns and thistles grew up in their path, and the
birds stopped singing and flew from them in fear,
and the wild beasts snarled at them and slunk away
into the forest. And the Master placed a watch-
man at the gate of the garden, with a sun-bright
sword in his hand, so that nobody could ever go
into it again.

The name of the Man was Adam, and the name
of the Woman was Eve.









THE TWO BROTHERS.

Wuewn the Man and the Woman were driven out
of the Garden of Delight, they wandered about for
some time, hardly knowing what to do. The whole

. world was before them, and they could go where
they chose; and yet they wanted to stay as near as
they could to the place where they had passed so
many happy days. So at last the Man built a little
hut in a pleasant spot near the bank of a great
river, where the sun shone warm, and the grass
grew tall, and the trees were laden with wild fruits;
and there they lived. The Man dug up the ground,
and sowed seeds, and raised grain; and the Woman
kept the little house, and learned to make clothing
of fig leaves, and afterwards of the skins of animals.

And so one year after another passed by, and in

«time the house was full of children, and it was as
much as the Man could do to find food enough for
the many mouths that were always wanting to be
fed; but the Woman, when she saw the happy,

14



15

smiling faces of her boys and girls, and heard their
childish prattle, would not have given them up for
all the joys that she men have had in the Garden
of Delight.

The eldest of the Eeie was a headstrong fellow,
bold and rash; and when he grew up, he became a
farmer, like his father. The second son was a gen-
tle lad, but, with all his gentleness, so vain that his
mother called him Vanity; and when he grew up -
he became a shepherd, and tended sheep on the
grass-covered hills.

It was the custom of the young men to carry
presents now and then to the great Master,—a
custom which their father also observed, and which
they had learned from him. One day they went,
as usual, each with his gift. The Farmer carried
a basket of ripe fruit, yellow and golden, mellow
and sweet. The Shepherd carried two young
lambs, white and spotless as the snow on the
high mountain tops. The Master was pleased
with the lambs; but for some reason—I cannot
tell what—he did not care for the basket of fruit.
The proud heart of the Shepherd was filled with
joy, and I do not know how often he taunted his
elder brother because he had failed to please the
Master. The Farmer was at first grieved, and then
he grew angry; and one day, when they were in the



16

field together, his wrath was stirred up until he
could hold himself no longer: in a blind fit of rage
he struck his brother a fierce blow, and stretched
him dead upon the ground.

When he saw that the Shepherd did not move
nor speak, he was frightened, and ran and hid him-
self among the trees. But he seemed to see the
white face of his handsome brother always before
“him; and he heard a voice, saying, “ Where is he?”

‘“Am I my brother’s keeper?” he asked; and he
tried to stop his ears, so that he should not hear
anything more. ;

But the voice said, “ What have youdone? Your
brother’s blood cries to me from the ground.”

Then the young man knew that it was the-
Master’s voice; and he covered his face and stood
trembling.

“For this thing which you have done,” said the
Master, “you. shall wander alone and _ unfriended
through the land. Even the earth shall be against
‘you; for when you till the ground, it shall not yield
grain, and the trees shall refuse to bear fruit for
you as in bygone days, and naught that you do shall
- prosper.”

Then the young man, in great distress, prayed
the Master that he would somewhat lighten his
punishment. “For,” said he, “if I go out thus to



17

wander alone and unfriended through the land, the
first man that meets me will slay me.”

So then the Master put a mark upon him to warn
all who saw him that they should do him no harm.
_And the young man wandered far away. into a
strange land in the distant East. There he made
his home, and there he built a city, —the first city
of which: we have any account. But no matter
what he did, the dreadful mark was always upon -
him;.and he fancied that the air was full of voices,
asking, “ Where is your brother? Where is your
brother?” Thus he lived unfriended and in dis-
tress all the days of his life. .

The name of this farmer was Cain, a word which
in ancient times meant Man; and the name of the
brother whom he slew was Abel, or Vanity.

Three of the great-grandsons of Cain became
men of much renown: one, Jabal, was the founder
of a nation of tent dwellers; one, Jubal, was the
inventor of the harp; and one, Tubal-cain, worked
in iron and brass, and was the most famous smith
of ancient times.



STO. OF THE EAST — 2







THE FLOOD OF WATERS.

In those very early times people lived much
longer than they live now. Whether it was be-
~ cause the air was milder, or the water purer, or their
food more simple, I do not know; but it is said
that men often lived to be seven hundred, eight
hundred, and even nine hundred years old; and
one man was nine hundred and sixty-nine years
of age when he died. A person was only in his
prime at five hundred, and the golden days of
childhood and youth must have lasted for at least
a century.
You would think that people were very happy in
those days, but they were not. They were quarrel-
ing and fighting among themselves almost all the
time. Those who were powerful and strong op-
pressed those who were feeble and weak. The rich
robbed the poor. Strange cruel men, called giants,
roamed here and there, filling the world with terror.
There was no peace or safety anywhere, but only dis-
18



19

tress and fear and dreadful wickedness. It seemed
as if it would have been better had the earth never
been made.

In the midst of all this wickedness there was only
one man who was good and true. The name of
this man was Noah, which, in the language of that
ancient time, meant Comfort. Why he was called
by that name I do not know; but perhaps it was
because his ways were so cheery and pleasant, and
his heart so kind and pure. He often told his
neighbors how wrong it was to do as they were
doing, and he warned them that if they did not
change their ways some great disaster would surely
befall them. But they only laughed at him, and
then kept on in their wickedness as before. _

At last, when Noah was five hundred years old,
he began to do a thing at which everybody won-
dered. He and his three sons set to work felling
trees in the woods; and when they had cut a great
deal of timber, they hauled it into one place, and
began to shape the logs into posts and beams and
rafters and planks. The neighbors.came and looked
on while the men worked, and then they jeered at
them.

“What are you doing?” they asked.

“We are building a boat,” said the good man
quietly.



20

“Ha, ha!” laughed his neighbors. “Who ever
did so foolish a thing as to build a boat on a hilltop
a hundred miles from the sea? You have lost your
senses.”

“T have not lost my senses,” was the answer.
“The great God whom I worship is angry with
you because of your wickedness, and he is going to
send a great flood of water upon you to destroy you
from the earth. It was he that bade me build this
boat, or ark, that so I and my family may be saved
alive; and you too may be saved if you will only
turn about and live as you ought, and help me in
this work.”

But they laughed and jeered all the more, and
instead of helping they tried to hinder him.

It took the good man and his sons a long time to
finish the boat, —a hundred years, or nearly so. It
was a huge vessel, five hundred feet long and eighty
feet broad. It was three stories high, with one door,
and one window in the side, and the whole was
covered with a roof. When at last it was all ready,
and made water-tight without and within, they began
to store it with food. They put into it not only
provisions for themselves, but a great supply of hay
and grain, and roots and fruit, and eatables of every
sort. Then they went out into the woods and fields,
and brought together all the wild and tame animals



(12)









But THEY LAUGHED AND JEERED ALL THE MORE.



22

‘that could be found, — beasts and fowls and creep-
ing things, two of every kind that lived on the
earth. It was a strange sight to see these creatures
marching up the hill, and going quietly into the
great boat, as if they knew that it was the only safe
place for them. The lions did not quarrel with the
tigers, and the sheep were not afraid of the wolves;
but each one took the place that had been set apart
for it in the ark, and all were as peaceable and kind
as though they were members of the same happy
family. When the last of these creatures had been
safely housed, Noah and his three sons and their
wives, eight persons in all, went up into the ark,
and the door was shut behind them.

Then the rain began to fall in torrents, and the
fountains of the great deep were broken up. For
forty days and forty nights this went on without
stopping, and the sea was filled to overflowing, and
the water covered the land until even the tops of
the mountains were hidden by it. All the people
of the land were drowned, and all the cattle and
wild beasts and creeping things in field or wood
were destroyed. But the great ark floated on the
waters, and the eight good people and the living
creatures that were housed within it were kept
alive and safe.

For five long months the land was covered by the



23

flood; and those who looked out of the window of
the ark could see nothing but water, water every-
where. At last, however, there came a great wind
which seemed to drive the waters away; and one
day the ark settled on the top of a high mountain
which men call Mount Ararat to this day. But
still the waters sank very slowly, and the people in
the ark dared not open the door, for there was no
place for them to set their feet outside.

After forty days, Noah opened the window and
let a raven fly out; for he wanted to see if the bird
could live outside of the ark. The raven flew back
and forth from one bare mountain crag to another,
but it never came back. By and by Noah sent out
a dove in the same way; but the dove could find
nothing to eat, nor any safe place in which to rest,
and so at last returned to the ark.

A week later, however, when the people looked
out of the window, there was no water in sight.
From the high place where the ark was lying they
could see nothing but bare rocks and rugged peaks
and mountain gorges. They did not know that
the lower slopes were already green with grass, and
that the trees were budding and blossoming as in
the time of spring. But one morning they sent
out the dove again, and in the evening she came
back with an olive branch in her mouth.



24

“The waters have dried up, and the fields are
beginning to appear,” they said.

They staid yet another week in the ark, and then
they sent out the dove for the third time. But she
did not return again; for now all the fields were
dry, and she could find plenty of food and a place
to build her nest. But Noah was not yet ready to
leave the ark.

“Wait a while,” he said, “until the voice of God
shall bid us go forth.” .

And so, for two months more, they staid in the
great vessel, and knew nothing of what was going
on in the woods and plains below them. But one
day Noah and his sons lifted off the roof of the ark
and looked around; and, at the same time, they
seemed to hear a voice bidding them go forth and
choose homes for themselves in the land which the
great flood had made desolate. Then they opened
wide the door of the ark, and all went out, and made
their way down the steep mountain side to the green
and pleasant plains below; and the beasts and the
fowls and the creeping things went out also, two by
two, and scattered hither and thither over the land.
They had been in the ark just one year.

And when Noah and his family reached the foot
of the mountain, and saw the meadows dotted with
flowers, and the trees already laden with fruit, and





25

the land lying smiling and fair before them, their
hearts were filled with thankfulness. And they
built an altar of stones, and worshiped the great
God who had blessed them and kept them through
so many perils. And while they worshiped, they
heard a voice, saying, —

«J will not again curse the ground for man’s sake.
So long as the earth remains, seedtime and harvest,
and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day
and night, shall not cease.”

Then, looking up, they saw a rainbow spanning
the sky.

“It is the bow of promise!” they cried.

After that, the three sons of. Noah went out with
their wives into the broad rich valleys that lie on
either side of the great river Euphrates; and there
they built themselves homes. And by and by
many children were born to them, and grandchildren
and great-grandchildren,— so many that the land
was full again of busy people, just as it had been -
before the great flood. Then some of the people |
journeyed to the East, and built cities for themselves
in the vast plains beyond the snowy mountains.
Some went to the South, and found life easy under
sunny skies, where the trees were always laden with
fruit, and there was no need to toil, or, indeed, to take



26

any thought for the morrow. Some went to the
North, where the summers were short, and the win-
ters long and cold; and they learned to hunt the
wild beasts in the great woods, or to build rude boats
and sail from place to place along the shore of the
sea. Some went to the West, and herded cattle and
sheep in the green pasture lands that stretched away
and away, even to the Great Sea and the borders of
Arabia the Happy. And some crossed over into the
rich country of the Nile, where the date palm flour-
ished, and bountiful crops of grain were harvested
almost every month in the year. But many still
remained in the valley of the Euphrates.

It was thus that the whole world was peopled
once again.











THE GREAT CHIEF.

I. THE PROMISE.

In the fertile country many miles to the west of
the Euphrates valley there lived a famous Chief
who was very rich. It was not the custom in that
land to build houses or to have any fixed place for
a home; and so this Chief dwelt in tents, and roved
hither and thither, wherever his fancy led him, or
wherever the pastures were greenest, or the water
most plentiful, or his neighbors most kind. Once
he pitched his tents in the wooded valley of the
Jordan, once he dwelt for a year in the treeless
plains of Arabia, and once when there was a great
drought he went down into the Land of the Nile,
and camped under the palm trees in full view of the
King’s palace. But among all the lands through
which he had wandered, there was none that seemed
so fair to him as the grassy plains and vine-covered
hills that lay between the sandy desert and the
eastern shore of the Great Sea. Oftentimes when,

27



28

in the evening, he stood in the door of his tent and
looked towards the setting sun, he fancied that he
heard a voice, saying, —

“ All this lovely land that you see shall be yours,
and your children’s, and your children’s children’s,
forever. Go forth and walk through the land in the
length of it and the breadth of if for I have prou
ised it, and will give it unto you.”

Then the great Chief would bow his head and
worship and give thanks.

“Tt is the voice of God,” he would say; “and
this land that is so fair and in every way so lovely
is the Promised Land.”

And in the early morning he liked to stand by
the eastern door of his tent, and watch the sun as it
rose from the mystic regions far beyond the valley.
of the Euphrates. He was now nearly a hundred
years old; but he stood as tall and straight as in
the days of his youth, his eyes were bright and keen,
his step was quick and firm, his voice was clear and
strong. The plain before him was dotted with
flocks of sheep, and herds of cattle, and droves of
camels; and in the grove on either side of him were
clusters of tents where lived many busy people, —
serving women, and milkmaids, and shepherds, and
armed men,— whose only thought was to do his
bidding.



29

- Did I say that the Chief was very rich? Every-
thing that he could see from the eastern door
of the tent, except the land and the sky, was his
own. Sheep, cattle, camels, tents, even the men
and women and children, belonged to him; for in
those times one man was often the master and
owner of many others; and, as he was always kind
and just and fatherly, nobody complained, and no-
body thought there was anything wrong about it.

The gr®at Chief had not always been a wanderer
and dweller in tents. In his youth he had lived
with his father and his kinsfolk in the valley of the
Euphrates; and it was there that he married his
wife, a dark-eyed beauty whom everybody called the
Princess. But when he was scyene -five years old,
he heard a voice, saying,

“Get you out from this country, and from your
kindred, and from your father’s house, and go west-
ward unto the land that I will show you.”

“Tt is the voice of God,” he said; and he fell
down to the ground and worshiped. And on the
morrow he gathered together his goods and all his
household, and went forth in search of the Promised
Land. And that was the way in which he became
a roving chieftain in strange lands, and that was
why he liked always to watch the rising sun as it
came up out of its golden palace in the East.



30

II. THE NEW NAME.

Now, at this time the Chief and the Princess
had no child of their own. But they had with
them a nephew named Lot, who was married and
had a family of fair daughters, and was almost as
rich in flocks and herds as was the Chief himself.
One summer they pitched their tents in the hilly
country to the west of the Jordan; for in the lower
valleys men had built houses and were*tilling the
ground, and on the level plain were two busy cities
called Sodom and Gomorrah. But there was not
much water among the hills; and when the Chief's
herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen met at the wells to
water their cattle, they often quarreled and fought.
So at last the Chief thought that it would be better
for him and his nephew to separate.

“See all this fair country with rich pastures to
the right and the left,” he said to Lot. “There
is certainly room enough for both of us. So do
you choose any part of the land that you like best,
and I will take the rest.”

And Lot chose the fields that lay in the level
plain, and took a house in Sodom, which was near
by; for he thought that a settled life in town would
be pleasanter than dwelling, first here and then
there, in tents. But the Chief went a little farther



31

away, and encamped for a time in the grassy plain
of Mamre, close by the hills of Hebron.

One night, as the Chief lay dreaming in his tent,
he was very unhappy because he had no son to
whom he might leave his great riches and the
pleasant land that had been promised to him and
his children forever. ;

“How can this promise come true,” he said,
“when I have no children?”

But even while he was complaining, he looked
up at the sky, where millions of stars were twin-
kling; and a voice spoke to him, and said that not
only should a son be born to him, but his people
should in time be more in number than the
starry host above him. The good man wondered
how this could be, and yet he believed and never
doubted.

“Tt is the voice of God,” he said; and he lifted
his hands towards heaven, and worshiped.

And the voice said, “ Men shall henceforth call
your name Abraham; for that is a word which
means Father of a Multitude, and a father of
nations you shall be.”

Ill. THE STRANGERS.

The summer that the Chief was ninety-nine years
old, a strange and dreadful thing happened.



32

One hot day he was sitting in the shade of his
tent, looking out over the plain towards the city
where his nephew Lot was living. All at once he
saw three noble strangers standing by the tent
door; and, as they seemed to be travelers from some
distant land, he ran to meet and greet them, as was
the custom of the time. He bowed himself down
before one of them who seemed to be the leader,
and said, —

“Pray do not pass by without resting a little
while. Come and sit down under this tree, and I
will have water brought that you may wash your
feet. And then you shall eat a little and refresh
yourselves before you pass on.”

“You speak well,” said the strangers. “Let it
be as you have said.” And they sat down under
the tree, as they were bidden.

Then the Chief ran into the women’s tent and
said to his wife, “ Be quick, and knead three meas-
ures of fine meal, and make it into cakes, and bake
them on the hearth; for three strangers are wait-
ing under the tree before the door.”

Then he ran into the field and fetched the finest
calf from the herd, and gave it to one of his young
men to kill and roast for his strange guests. And
when it was ready, he took butter and milk and the
hot cakes and the choicest parts of the meat, and set



33

the food before the strangers who were waiting
under the tree.

« Surely,” he whispered to his wife, “these are not
common men; for never have I seen any that were
so stately and noble. Their leader must be the
Lord himself, and his two companions are none
other than angels.” And then he hastened back to
wait upon them while they ate.

-«“ Where is your wife?” asked one of the stran-
gers, looking around.

«“ Behold, she is in her tent,” said the Chief.

The Princess was at that moment standing inside
the door. Ninety years old though she was, she
was as fair and lovely as when the Chief had wooed
her in her girlhood in the valley of the Euphrates,
more than seventy summers before. When the
strangers saw her blushing among the curtains of
the tent, they told the Chief that the son whom
he had waited for so long would be born that very
year. The Princess overheard what they said, and
she laughed, because she did not believe that it
could be so. But her husband, the Chief, said, —

“Tt is the voice of God, and it must be true.”

At last the strangers arose, and started to go on
their way; and the Chief took his staff in his hand
and walked across the fields with them. When they
reached the top of the hill and looked towards the

STO. OF THE EAST—3



34

east, they saw the fair cities of Sodom and Gomor.
rah lying in the midst of the rich plain far below
them; and around the cities were orchards and
vineyards, and fields of ripening grain, and broad
pasture lands where thousands of cattle were
feeding.

“ Behold these cities, how beautiful they are!” said
the Chief.

‘And yet,” said the strangers, “they are so wicked
that God will destroy them this very night. We are
even now on our way to see if there is any good
thing in them at all.”

“Oh, say not so!” cried the Chief, much grieved
at the thought. “Surely, God will not let the inno-
cent perish in order that he may punish the doers
of evil.”

Then, while the men walked on down the hill, he

‘lifted up his hands, and prayed God to spare the
cities of the plain.

“ Suppose there are fifty good men in the place,
wilt thou not spare it, O Lord?” he said.

And the Lord said, “Yes; if I find fifty righteous
men in Sodom, I will spare the whole city for their
sake.”

“Suppose there shall lack five of being fifty, wilt
thou destroy the place for lack of five?” said the
Chief.



35

And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it if I find
forty-five.”

- “Suppose forty good men should be found,” said
the Chief.

And the Lord said, “I will spare it for the sake
of forty.”

“Oh, have patience with me, and do not be
angry!” said the Chief; ‘“‘ but suppose there should
be thirty?”

And the Lord said, “I will not destroy the place
if thirty good men are there.”

“Nor if there are twenty?” said the Chief.

“For the sake of the twenty, I will spare it,” was
the answer.

“Oh, have patience once more!” said the Chief;
“but suppose there are only ten good men among
so many?”

And the Lord said, “I will spare them all, that so
the ten shall not perish.”

Then the Chief turned about, and walked thought-
fully back to his tents. But when the strangers
went down into Sodom, they found only one good
man in all the city, and that was Lot, the nephew
of Abraham. So, after they had warned him and
made him hasten out of danger, there came a
great storm of fire and hail; and the cities were
burned, and the people of the plains destroyed; and



36

the beautiful valley was filled with salt water, and
became the place of a sea, that is called the Dead
Sea even to this day.

And when Chief Abraham arose in the morning
and looked towards the east, he saw the smoke of
the country going up as the smoke of a furnace;
and. he knew that the cities of the plain were’ no
more.

IV. THE BURNT OFFERING.

When Chief Abraham was a hundred years old
and his wife ninety-one, the thing came true that
had been so often promised, and a son was born to
them; and they named the boy Laughter, because
his mother had laughed at-the thought of such old
people having a child. And there was great joy in
the tents of the Chief, because now there was an
heir who after a while would be the owner of the
flocks and herds, and silver and gold, which the old
man had brought together; and a great feast was
made, to which even the kings of the land were in-
vited, —a feast the memory of which has been kept
in mind even to our own day.

And the child grew, and became a fine lad, hand-
some and quick and strong; and his father, rich
though he was, loved and prized him more highly
than all his wealth. One day the thought came



37

into Chief Abraham’s mind that God had given
him everything, and therefore he ought to show his
gratitude by offering his most precious possession
to God. But what was his most precious posses-
sion? Was it not the boy Laughter? And could
he give him up? Yes, he would do anything to
obey the call of duty.

In those times people thought there was only one
way of giving anything to God, and that was to lay
it on an altar, and, after it had been slain, to set fire
to the wood beneath it and burn it to ashes. They
thought, that, as the flames seized upon and removed
it from sight, God took it to himself.

So, when Chief Abraham had become fully per-
suaded of his duty, he made up his mind to offer
the boy Laughter to God. One morning very early
he saddled a donkey, and took with him the boy
and two servants, and set out for a mountain, three
days’ journey away, where he had before offered
sacrifices to God. When they came to the foot
of the mountain, he said to his men, —

“Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad
will go up alone.”

Then he put a bundle of wood for the altar upon
Laughter’s shoulders, and took the long knife in
one hand and a fagot of fire in the other; and the
two began to climb the mountain together.



38

By and by the lad said, “ My father!”

“ What is it, my son?” said Chief Abraham.

“ Here is the wood, and there is the fire,” said
the lad; “but where is the lamb for the offer-
iIngeh” ;

‘My son,” said the old man, “God will provide
a lamb for the offering.”

And the two went on together.

When they came to the top of the mountain,
they built an altar of stones, and laid the wood upon
it. And the Chief bound his son with cords, and
laid him upon the wood on the altar. And he
stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay
the lad. But while his hand was still raised, he
heard a voice that seemed to come out of the sky,
calling him by name.

“Here I am,” he answered, without looking up.

“Touch not the lad,” said the voice. “Now,
indeed, is it clear that you fear the Lord; for you
have not withheld your son, your only son, from
him.” :

And then the Chief lifted his eyes, and saw, close
by, a ram caught by’ the horns in the bushes. And
he quickly loosed Laughter from the cords that
_ bound him, and then laid the ram on the wood in
his place. And when they had slain the ram,
and burnt it as an offering, the two went down



39

the mountain together, rejoicing. And after that,
Abraham pitched his tents by the wells of Beer-
sheba, far to the south, -near the borders of the
great sandy desert. And there they dwelt many
years.

V. THE FAITHFUL SERVANT.

One morning in early summer Chief Abraham
sat in the door of his tent, and talked with his head
servant, who had the care of all his goods, and
managed all his business. He talked of his old
home, where he had lived as a child and as a young
man, in the far-away valley of the river Euphrates.
He talked of his kinsfolk, who were still in that
eastern country, and whom he had not seen for
now almost fifty years. He talked of his own
wandering life, and of the land flowing with milk
and honey which God had promised to give to his
~ children and his children’s children, to hold as
their own forever.

“ And now,” he said, “here is my son Laughter,
who was born in this new western land. He has
never seen his father’s kindred, nor visited his
father’s native place. He is now a man, and he
ought before long to take to himself a wife; for lam
a hundred and twenty-five years old, and soon my
wealth will be his. But I cannot bear to have him



40

wed any of the rude maidens of this barbarous land.
Not one of them is worthy to be his wife.”

“But, my master,” said the servant, “some of
them are very beautiful, and they are the daughters
of kings. How can we do better than choose one
of them for the young man?”

“TJ will tell you,” said the Chief: ‘We will find
a wife for him among the daughters of my kinsmen
in the valley of the great river where I lived in my
youth. You shall get ready at once, and go and
choose one for him, and bring her hither.”

“But what if the maiden will not come?” said
the servant. “Wouldn’t it be better for Laughter
to go with me, and choose for himself? For no
maiden can well refuse when she sees -how comely
and fair the young man is.”

“Not so!” cried the Chief. “My son shall not
go with you. He might be tempted to make his
home in that country where life is easy. But he
must stay here; for all these rich plains and wooded
hills, as far as you can see from yonder mountain
top, are to be his and his children’s forever. The
God whom I worship has promised it. No, you
shall not take him with you.”

“But how shall I find the way?” asked the
servant. “The country is far distant, and there
are no roads thither.”



4l

“The good angels will go before you, and show
you the way,” said the Chief.

“ And then, if no maiden will come back with me,
what shall I do?” said the servant.

“Then you shall return, and you will be free from
blame,” said the Chief. “But do you make ready
and start upon your journey this very day.”

Then the servant chose ten of his master’s best
camels, and loaded some of them with food for the
long journey, and some of them with rich gifts of
gold and silver and perfumes and beautiful gar-
ments; and while it was yet morning, he set out
across the great plains towards the distant valley of
the river Euphrates. And acompany of his master’s
trustiest men went with him as guards and helpers.

Much of the way was across broad, trackless
plains, and among rocky hills, where there was no
road nor other pathway ; much of the way was over
a barren, sandy desert, where the sun shone hot and
no living thing could be seen. And it was many
weary days before the servant, with his little com-
pany, reached the green valleys, and knew that they
were in the country of his master’s kindred. Late
one afternoon he came to a little city, and stopped
outside of the walls by a well of water. It was about
the time of day when the women of the place liked
to come out with their pitchers and draw water for



42

use in the household. The servant made his camels
lie down about the well; and then he prayed that
the God whom his master worshiped would speed
the day, and show kindness to him, and give him a
sign, that so his tiresome journey might be at an
end. =
“ Behold,” he said, “I stand here by the well of
water, and the maidens of the city.come out to fill
their pitchers. I will say to the fairest among them,
‘Let me drink a little water of thy pitcher;’ and if
one of them shall say, ‘Drink, and I will give your
camels drink also, let that be a sign that she is the
maiden whom I shall choose for Laughter. In that
way I shall know that kindness is shown to my
master.”

While he was yet speaking, a fair young girl came
tripping down from the city gate with her pitcher
on her shoulder. As she came nearer, the servant
thought that he had never seen any one so beauti-
ful. And she went down the stone steps into the
well, and came up with her pitcher dripping. And
the servant ran to meet her, and said, — ;

“Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy
pitcher!”

And she let down the pitcher upon her hand,
and said, “ Drink, my lord!” And when he had
drunk as muchas he wanted, she said kindly, “ Now











“c
Ler mE, I PRAY THEE, DRINK A LITTLE WATER!”

(43)



44

I will draw water for your camels, and let them
drink also.”

And she ran and emptied her pitcher into the
trough, and hastened back to the well to draw
more water. And the man stood and watched her,
and wondered if indeed the good angels had shown
him the way, and the God of his master had been
kind to him; for the maiden was so beautiful, and
withal so kind, that he could not think of choosing
any one else to be young Laughter’s wife.

When the camels had done drinking, and the girl
had filled her pitcher again with clear, cool water to
carry home, he gave her a golden earring of great
beauty, and two golden bracelets for her wrists. A
shrewd man he was, and he knew right well what
would delight the maiden’s heart. Then he asked
her whose daughter she was, and whether there was
room in her father’s house for him to lodge there.
She told him both her father’s name and her grand-
father’s, and said, —

“ There is room enough in our house for you, and
for all the men that are with you; and we have
plenty of straw and food for your camels.”

The servant bowed down, and thanked the God of
his master for the kindness that had been shown
him ; for the name of the maiden’s grandfather was
that of Chief Abraham’s own brother, whom he



45

had left behind him when he went to the new
western country so long ago, and the servant
knew that he had found his master’s kindred.

VI. BEAUTY AND LAUGHTER.

The young girl hastily took up her pitcher again,
and then, carrying it on her shoulder, ran home to
her mother’s house in the city. She wanted to
show her mother and her brother the pretty earring
and the bracelets that the stranger had given her.
She hurriedly told them all that had happened to
her at the well; and the whole family crowded
around her to see the beautiful gifts. And when
she had finished her story, her brother ran out to
the well to find the stranger, and lead him to the
house.

“Come in, come in!” he said. “Why do you
wait outside the walls? Our house is all ready
for you, and we have plenty of food and shelter
for the camels.”

Then the servant went with him to the house;
and they took off the packs from the camels’ backs,
and gave them straw and food. And the brother
had water brought for the servant and the men
who were with him to wash their feet.

“ Now come in and eat supper with us,” he said.



46

“T will not eat until I have told my errand,” said
the servant.

“ Tell it,” said the maiden’s mother, “and we will
eat afterwards.” .

Then the servant told them who his master was,
and how rich and great he had become in the new
western country where he had gone fifty years
before. And he told them about the young man
whom they called Laughter, and who was to have
all his master’s wealth; and how there was no
maiden in all the western land who was good
enough to be the young man’s wife; and how the
great Chief had now sent his servant to this his
fatherland to find a wife for Laughter among the
fair daughters of his own kindred. :

“And I came this day unto the well,” he said,
“and I asked there for a sign; and before I had
done asking, the sign came true. This fair maiden
came out of the city with her pitcher on her
shoulder; and she went down into the well, and
drew water; and I said, ‘ Let me drink, I pray thee!’
And she made haste and let down her pitcher from
her shoulder, and said, ‘ Drink, and I will give thy
camels drink also!’ So I drank, and she made
the camels drink. And I said, ‘Whose daughter
are you, my fair maiden?’ And she told me her
father’s name, and her grandfather’s. And I knew



47

that the God of my master had prospered me, and
had led me in the right way to take the grand-
daughter of my master’s brother to his son
Laughter. Now, I have told you my errand,
and you know why I am here. Tell me if you
will deal kindly with my master, your kinsman;
for if not, I will go my way, and trouble you no
more.”

And the girl’s brother and her mother said,
“ This thing has been ordered by the God of your
master, and we have no right to speak either good
or bad about it. Here is the maiden herself, — the
maiden so rightfully called Beauty. Take her, and
go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son,
as your master’s God has ordered.”

When the servant heard this, he bowed himself
to the ground, and gave thanks. Then he
brought rare jewels of silver and gold, and rich
garments of linen and silk, and gave them to
Beauty, and to her mother and her brother. And
there was a great feast in the house that night,
and the wonderful news was told throughout the
city; and Beauty, clad like a princess, was more
beautiful than any other maiden that had ever been
seen in the green valleys of the Euphrates.

In the morning the servant arose with his men,
and said,—



es

“Let me go back now to my master.”

But Beauty’s mother begged him to let the
maiden stay with her a few days longer, at least
ten. |

“My master’s God has prospered me,” said the
servant; “and so I beg that you will not hinder,
' but let us go at once.”

“Well,” said the mother, “we will call the
damsel, and ask her.”

They called Beauty, and said, “Beauty, will
you go with this man to-day?”

And she said, “ Yes, I will go.”

So, while they all wept, they blessed her, and
bade her Godspeed.

“Thou art our fair sister, so well beloved,” they
said. ‘In the ages to come, may thousands of
millions of people remember thee and think of
thee as their mother, and may thy children and
thy children’s children wax great in the earth, and
rule over all their enemies.”

And Beauty and her nurse and her waiting
women rode upon the camels, and followed the
servant and his men across the barren desert and
the broad green plains to the rich new country
in the distant West.

At the end of many days they came into a land
where there were great herds of cattle, and flocks



49

of sheep, and droves of camels; and the servant told
her that all these were only a part of the riches of
his master. And it so happened that Laughter was
walking in the fields in the cool of the evening, and
thinking of many things, but most of his father’s
kindred in the far East, and of the servant who had
been sent thither to find him a wife. Suddenly, on
looking up, he saw the ten camels coming across
the plain. They were quite near to him, and he
could see that there were women riding. He won-
dered what kind of wife his father’s servant had
brought him; but he could not see her face for the
heavy veil that was over it.

For when Beauty first saw Laughter walking in
the fields, she had asked the servant, “ What man
is that who is walking this way?” for she was
pleased to see how noble and handsome he seemed.

“ That is my young master,” answered the servant.

Then Beauty was glad, and she covered herself
with her veil. And when she met Laughter, she
alighted from her camel, and Laughter led her to
his mother’s tent, where they were wedded; and
when she lifted the veil from her blushing face, and
he saw how wonderfully fair she was, he was very
glad, and he loved her. And Beauty and Laughter
lived long and happily together in their own tent
in the midst of the green plains. And their father,

STO. OF THE EAST— 4



50

Chief Abraham, lived yet fifty years, and died at the
good old age of one hundred and seventy-five.

. And Laughter and Beauty had two sons, both of
whom became men of renown. One of them lived
the life of a roving chieftain in the land that borders
the great Arabian desert. His name was Esau,
‘but he was often called Edom, or the Red, on ac-
count of his ruddy complexion and the color of his
hair; and he gave his name to the narrow sea that
lies between Arabia and the Land of the Nile. The
other son of Laughter and Beauty was a shrewd
man, always skillful in trade, and sure to get the
better of every bargain. After deceiving his father
and greatly wronging his brother, he fled, while still
quite young, to his mother’s people in the little city
by the Euphrates, There he married; and there,
by his energy as well as by his craftiness, he became
very rich in sheep and cattle and camels and silver.
Afterwards, when he heard that his father was still
alive, and ready to forgive him, he returned with his
family and his servants, and his flocks and herds, to
the western land where he had been born. There
he was reconciled with his brother, and there he
won by his uprightness and valor the noble name of
Israel, which in his own language meant the Prince.

In that same language the word for laughter was

Isaac, and the word for beauty was Rebecca.





THE MASTER OF THE LAND OF THE NILE.

I. THE DREAMER.

TueErE dwelt in Hebron, at the foot of one of the
grass-covered hills, a rich man, who had gained a
part of his wealth by his shrewdness in trade and
by dealing unfairly with his brother. In his
younger days people had called him Supplanter
(or, in their own language, Jacob), because of his
grasping nature, which seemed to have belonged to
him even from his birth. Later in life, however,
he had become a much better man, and, because’
of his uprightness and valor, he had gained for him-
self the title of the Prince (or, in his own tongue,
Israel). When, in his old age, he settled at Hebron, °
he was, as I have said, very rich. He had hundreds
and hundreds of sheep and cattle, besides droves of
camels and donkeys; and he had twelve sons.

Ten of his sons were grown-up men, bearded and
tall and strong; but the youngest was a little babe,
and the next to the youngest was a slender lad still

51



52.

in his teens. The Prince loved this lad more than
all the rest of his children, perhaps because he was
gentle and wise, perhaps because he was the son of
his favorite wife, and had been born to him in his
old age. The older brothers said that the lad was
their father’s pet, and they began to hate him, and
seldom spoke kindly to him.

“What do you think I dreamed last night? y
said the lad one day when they were all in the
field together.

“ How do we know?” they said. “ Why should
we care anything for your silly dreams?”

Well, I had a very strange dream,” he said.
“T dreamed that we were in the harvest field, and
that each one of us had bound up a sheaf of grain.
Then my sheaf stood up in its place, and every one
of your sheaves bowed and fell down to the ground
before it.”

“What do you mean?” said his brothers. “Do
you mean to say that we shall all bow down to you
‘ some time? We'll see about that.” —

The next day, when the Prince and his sons were
sitting in the shade of the tent, the lad said, —

“T had another dream last night.”

“You'd better not tell it,” said the eldest brother.

“But I will tell it,” said the lad. “I dreamed
that I was a bright star in the sky, and that the sun



53

and the moon and eleven stars bowed down and
fell on their faces before me.”

“Worse and worse!” cried the young men.
“Yesterday you had your brothers falling in the
dust at your feet. Now you want to make believe
that your father and mother will also humble them-
selves before you.”

“T did not say so,” said the lad.

“But you meant it,” said they. “Who is the sun
if it is not our father? and who is the moon if it is
not our mother? and who are the eleven stars of
your dream if they are not your brothers?”

“T never thought of my dream in that way,” said
the lad. ;

But his brothers were all very angry; and his
father for the first time in his life scolded him
sharply. The lad burst into tears, and ran to hide
himself behind the curtains of the tent.

After that the young men hated him all the
more, and they nicknamed him the Dreamer. But
his father the Prince seemed to love him even
better than before.

Il. THE JOURNEY.

That summer there was but little rain, and the
ground was so dry that the grass could not grow.
The fields were no longer green, and the beautiful



54

hills of Hebron were brown and bare as a desert.
There was not enough pasture there to keep the
herds and flocks alive.

At last the Prince sent his servants away with
the cattle to find some greener spot in the river
valleys far to the north. As for the poor sheep
and lambs, the ten sons undertook to drive them to _
the plains of Shechem, fifty miles away. They had
spent a summer at Shechem once before, and had
done some wild and wicked deeds there. They
had even destroyed the little town that stood in
the midst of the fields, and had killed some of the
people; and they knew that now the place was
deserted, and that no one would dispute their right
to pasture their flocks there. They remembered
that there were many springs of water in the fields,
and they felt sure that they would find plenty of
grass. = :

After the men had gone away with the sheep
and cattle, it was very lonely in Hebron. Day after
day passed by, and it was always the same, — the
camels and donkeys browsing among the thistles
and shrubs on the hillsides, the women at work in
the tents, the children playing the same games in
the dust and sand, and the hot sun hanging high
in the sky. Once a caravan, or company of mer-
chants, passed by, with a long line of camels and



55

armed men, carrying goods of all kinds, cloths and
spices and gold, from the far East down into the
rich country of the Nile. Ah, what a great event
that was! Everybody went out to see the wonder-
ful caravan and the wonderful things that were
with it; and the Prince bought many handsome
and curious things for his wives and their servants
and the children. .

But after that, the place seemed lonelier than
before, and still no word came from the ten men
who had gone down to the fields of Shechem.

One day the Prince said to the lad, —

“T wonder how the boys are getting along with
the sheep, and whether they found the pastures as
green and fresh as they expected! I wish I had
a trusty man that I could spare. I would send him
down to Shechem to find your brothers, and seé
whether all is well with them.”

“Let me go, father!” said the boy.

“What!” cried the old man. “Do you think that
I would send you on an errand so far, and alone?
You are only a boy, and you do not know what dan-
gers you might meet with betweén here and She-
chem. Wild beasts roam in the woods and among
the hills, and Arab robbers ride over the plains.”

“Surely you don’t think I am afraid!” said the
lad. “Haven't you often told me of the long



56

journey which you made when you were a boy no
older than I am,— how you went all alone across
the great plains to the far-off land of the Euphrates?
And do you think that I ought to be afraid to take ©
this little trip down to Shechem? ”

“T know you are not afraid,” said his father, “and
I do you a wrong to be afraid for you. So get
yourself ready, and set out this very day. See
whether your brothers are well, and whether the
sheep have found good pasture, and then come
home and tell me.”

It did not take the boy long to get ready for the
journey. All that he needed to carry was a little
leathern pouch with food in it for three days, a
leathern bottle full of water, and a pair of light san-
dals, which he would slip on his feet when he had
to cross rough and stony places among the hills.

‘“You may leave your old cloak,” said his father.

“This is your birthday, and I have a present for
you.”
_ Then he opened a chest and took. from it the
most beautiful coat that the boy had ever seen.
The Prince had bought it of one of the merchants
_ who had passed with the caravan; and it had been
woven in a strange land in the far-distant East.

“O father!” cried the boy. “Is the pretty coat
forme? And may I wear it to Shechem?”



57

“Certainly it is for you,” said his father; and he
threw the rich garment upon the boy’s shoulders,
and fastened it at the neck with a silver clasp. It
‘ was richly woven of silk and linen, with threads of
crimson and purple and gold running through it
from top to bottom. At the waist it was held in
by a belt of finest leather buckled with a silver
buckle; and the soft, many-colored folds fell almost
to the boy’s knees.

“© father, how beautiful it is, and how kind you
are!” he said, and the tears came into his eyes for
joy. o%

Then he kissed his father and his baby brother,
and waved a good-by to the women and children
who had come out of the tents to admire his coat
and see him start on his journey. His mother was
not among them. . She had died a year before, and
her grave was by the roadside in lonely Ephrath,
far over the hills to the north.

“Do not fear for me, father,” he said;. and he
walked briskly away across the brown and barren
fields. d

“May the God of my father and of my father’s
father bless thee and keep thee!” said the Prince ;
and he stood and watched the boy until he had
passed over the ridge of a distant hill and could
be seen no more.



58

Ill. THE DRY WELL.

It was a long and hard journey over the hills
and across the lonely plains. On the third day,
about noon, the lad reached the place where he
expected to find his brothers. There were the
springs of running water and the fields which he
well knew, and on the hillock in their midst were
the ruins of the little town of Shechem; but the
place was deserted and bare, although there were
plenty of signs that there had been sheep and shep-
herds there. .

He ran from one field to another, looking and
calling; but no one answered him, and there was
not a man to be seen anywhere. At last, footsore
and tired and hungry, he sat down on a stone and
wondered what he should do next. He could not
think of going back home and telling his father that
his brothers and the sheep were nowhere to be found.
While he was sitting there, a man came out from
among the ruins on the hilltop and called to him.

“What do you want here, my lad?” he said.

“T have come to find my brothers and the sheep,”
he answered; “for my father is troubled about them,
and wants very much to learn how they are getting
on.”

Then the man told him that the ten brothers, who



59

called themselves the sons of the Prince, had been
around Shechem nearly all summer, but that they
had gone away only three days before, to look for
fresh pastures for their sheep.

“T think they must have gone over the hills to
Dothan,” said the man; “for I heard them say to
one another, ‘ Let us go up to Dothan;’ and I know
the grass is better there than here.”

The lad had never been to Dothan, but the man
told him it was not far, and showed him the shortest
and best way to go; and when he had eaten his
last crumb of bread, and filled his bottle with cool
water from one of the springs, he went on over the
hills as fast as his tired feet would carry him.

Late that afternoon the ten brothers were loung-
‘ing among the grass on the top of a little knoll,
and watching their sheep which were feeding in
. the fields below. Suddenly one of them, who was
called Troop, and who was sharper-sighted than |
the rest, sprang to his feet.

“Who is that coming up the road from She-
chem ?” he cried.

The other men jumped up quickly, and fidltea
towards the place which Troop pointed out. Far
away across the fields they could see some one
coming. They watched him as he drew nearer and
nearer.



60

“He walks as if in great haste,” said the eldest
of the ten, shading his eyes with his hands. “ He
is some poor fellow who has lost his way, and is
coming to us for help.”

“Poor fellow, indeed!” said Troop. “He is
some rich merchant’s son who has strayed from a
caravan; for only see what a fine cloak he wears!”

“ Yes,” said a tall, lank fellow whom they called
Judge. “That cloak is worth more than a hundred
sheep, and I mean to have it for my own.” He
grasped his sheephook in his hands, and was half- —
way down the hill when his brothers called to him.

“Stay!” they cried. “It is nobody but our wise
brother, the Dreamer.”

“What! father’s pet?” said Judge; and he went
slowly back.

By this time the boy could be plainly seen
making his way across the fields, and waving his
hand to his brothers by way of greeting.

“Only see that fine coat, how it gleams and
sparkles in the rays of the sun!” said Troop.

“Father must have paid a goodly sum for that
rich garment,” said another of the brothers.

“Yes,” said Judge, “ and we who take care of the
sheep have hardly a coat to our backs.”

“The young fellow will set himself up for king
now, without doubt,” said the youngest of the ten.

1”



61

“ Get yourselves ready, boys, to fall on your knees
before him as soon as he comes to the foot of the
hill!”

“For my part,” said Troop, “I think we have
had enough of his dreams and his nonsense. I
wish something would happen to him before he
gets back to Hebron.”

“We might make something happen,” muttered
Judge. “Father would never know: he would
think that a lion had caught the boy while he
was crossing the hills.”

Then they talked together in low tones. But
the eldest of the ten said, “ Have a care, boys! If
we should hurt the lad, we could never look our
father in the face again. But we might put him
into the dry well down there, and leave him.”

This speech seemed to please the others; and
Troop ran down and lifted the flat stone that
covered the mouth of the well, and looked in. But
the eldest brother turned, and walked away.

It was not long until the boy was near enough to
make himself heard.

“ Hail, my brothers!” he cried. “Is it well with
you? I bring you our father’s blessing.”

But the nine rude fellows looked at him with
dark and scowling glances, and made no answer
to his kind greeting.



62

“Don’t you know me?” he said. “Don’t you ©
know your younger brother? I have come all.
the way from Hebron to see you; for father was
troubled about oH and wanted to know how you
are getting on.”

“You are no brother of ours,’ sai Judge. “We
never saw you before.”

“You are a spy from our enemies, the robber
Arabs,” said Troop. ‘You have come to see how
strong we are; and you will go back and tell your.
friends whether they can overcome us and drive
away our flocks. But you shall not escape us!”
And with that he threw a stone at the boy, while
the others ran down the hill, brandishing their
sheephooks, and crying out in a savage and threat-
ening manner.

“ Oh, my brothers, my brothers!” cried the lad,
stopping, and lifting up his hands.

They seized him rudely, and tore his beautiful
coat from his back, and snatched the sandals from
his feet. :

“ Away with the robber!” cried Judge.

“Yes, away with the spy!” cried the others; and
they pushed him roughly along towards the open
well. The boy covered his face with his hands, and
sobbed.

“Stand back! Don’t hurt the lad!” said one



63

of them, a big round-faced fellow whom his mother
called Judah, or Praise. “Leave him to me.” And
he lifted the boy by the arms, and let him gently
down into the well. It was not a deep well, and
he did not have far to drop; but its stone sides
were smooth and steep, and not even a squirrel
could have climbed out of it.

When the brothers saw what was done, they
turned away as if ashamed, and without saying
a word went after their sheep. But Judge staid
behind to put the flat stone back into its place,
and, as he peeped down into the well, he whis-
pered, — ; aa

“This is the way that we bow down before you,
Dreamer!”

Iv. THE CARAVAN.

That evening nine of the brothers sat in front
of their tent, eating their supper in silence. The
eldest was not with them. He had gone across the
fields to look for a lost lamb, and to think of some
plan to befriend his young brother. While they
were eating, a long line of camels and men was
seen coming across the plain. It was a caravan
of: traders journeying from the East towards the
country of the Nile. The sun had gone down, but
the moon was at its full; and in that country there



(+9)







SOLD HIM TO THE MERCHANTS FOR TWENTY PIECES OF SILVER.





65

was no pleasanter time to travel than in the cool of
the evening.

The brothers sat still and watched the caravan as
it came slowly towards them. The camels were
loaded with spices and myrrh and balm, and other
precious things; and, with the armed guard which
walked before them, there were a number of young
men who were being taken to the Nile country as
slaves.

“If we only had something to sell to those mer-
chants,” said Praise,“ we might make a good bar-
gain.”

“We might sell them a sheep or two for their
breakfast,” said Judge. .

“Tt seems to me,” said Praise, “that we have
done a very foolish thing. We have put the boy
into the well, where he will die, and not one of us
has made any money by it. Come, now, let us sell
him to these merchants, and save his life! We shall
then be rid of him, and at the same time make some ~
profit for ourselves.”

This speech pleased the brothers very much.
Judge ran and lifted the lad out of the well; and
Praise, who was good at making bargains, sold him
to the merchants for twenty pieces of silver.

“Two pieces for each of you, and four for me,”
he said.

STO. OF THE EAST— 5



66
“But how about our eldest brother, who is look-
ing for the lamb?” asked one.

“ There is no need for him to know what we have
done,” said Praise. :
By and by the eldest brother came back from his
search, and went at once to the well. He lifted the
stone and called to the boy, but there was no answer.
Then he lighted a torch, and held it so that he
could see to the bottom of the well. There was no
boy there. He dropped the stone back into: its
place, and ran towards the tents, tearing his clothes

into pieces as he went.

“The child is not!” he cried. “The child is
not, and what shall become of me?”

“Some evil spirit has stolen him away,” said
Judge, “and what shall we say to father?”

“Yes, what shall we say to father?” said Praise.

Then they took the boy’s coat which they had
torn from his back, and dipped it into the blood of
a kid which they had killed; and Praise, who was
the best talker among them, carried it to their father
in Hebron. ,

‘Here is something that we found in the hill
country on the other side of Shechem,” he said.

The old man looked at it, and knew at once that
it was the costly coat which he had given to his
best-loved child.



67

“Tt is my son’s coat!” he cried. “Some wild
beast has done this, and has devoured the child!”
And he tore his cloak into shreds in sign of grief,
and clothed himself in sackcloth, and sat down and
mourned for the boy many days. Then his sons
came home with their sheep, and they and all his
daughters tried to comfort him; but he would not
listen to them. “I will weep for the child until I
die,” he said. 7%

But as for the lad himself, the merchants took
him down into the country of the Nile; and he was
so bright-witted and quick, and withal so handsome
and obedient, that the captain of the King’s body-
guard was glad to buy him at a very high price.

“What is your name?” asked his master.

“My mother called me Joseph,” said the boy;
“but my brothers, who sold me to the merchants,
nicknamed me the Dreamer.”

Vv. THE PRISON.

Although he was a slave in a strange land, the
boy did not lose heart, nor did he spend any time
in grieving about things which could not be helped.
He made up his mind to do his best at all times,
no matter what might happen to him. And so, as
the years passed by and he grew up to manhood,



68

he proved himself to be so honest and wise, that
his master trusted him with everything that he
had, and at last made him the manager of all his
lands and houses and goods.

‘“My servant Joseph,” said the captain, “is the
best man of business in this country. I do not
need to think of anything; for he manages all,
and there is nothing which he undertakes that
does not prosper.”

But the time came when misfortune again befell
the young man. The captain’s wife, who was a
thoughtless, wicked woman, accused him of things
of which he was not guilty, and caused him to be
thrown into the King’s prison. Yet even then
he did not lose hope. He was so kind and wise
and trustworthy, that the jailer soon made him
his chief helper. All the other prisoners were
under his care, and nothing was done in the place
except as he ordered it. Yet he was not allowed
tc step outside of the prison doors.

It so happened that about. this time two men,
the King’s butler and the King’s baker, were shut
up in the jail for some fault or crime. Both of
them were very much troubled because of their
disgrace, and one night both of them dreamed
strange dreams. In the morning Joseph noticed
that they seemed very sad.



Se

“What is the matter,” he asked, “that on this
bright day your faces are so gloomy and down-
cast?”

“JT have dreamed a dream,” said the butler,
“and I do not know what it means.”

“Tell it to me,” said the young man, “and
perhaps I can explain its meaning.”

“In my dream,” said the butler, “I saw a vine
with three branches; and as I looked at it, it began
to bud and blossom, and soon it was full of ripe
grapes. Then I gathered the grapes, and pressed
the juice of them into the King’s cup, and carried
it to the King.”

“That is an easy dream to explain,” said Joseph.
“The three branches are three days; and in three |
days the King will set you free, and you shall be
his butler again, and carry his wine to him as you
have done before. But I pray you, when it is well
with you, do not forget me; for I am a slave,
and was stolen from my father in Hebron when
I was a boy, and I have done nothing that they
should keep me in this place.”

_Then the King’s baker said, “I, too, have
dreamed a dream, and I hope that it is as good
a dream as my friend the butler’s.”

“Tell it to me,” said Joseph.

“T dreamed,” said the baker, “that I had three



7O

white baskets on my head, and that in the upper
basket were all kinds of cakes and sweetmeats for
the King. But as I walked along, the birds flew
down from the trees and ate up all the sweetmeats,
and.I had none to carry to the King.”

Joseph shook his head, and said, —

“ That is also an easy dream to explain. The
three baskets are three days; and in three days
you shall be hanged on a tree, and the birds shall
fly down and eat the flesh from your body.”

Three days after that, all things happened as
the young man had foretold. It was the King’s '
birthday, and he made a great feast in his palace;
and he gave orders that the baker should be hanged
upon a tree, and that the butler should be set free
and given the place of honor which he had held
before. But the butler was so glad because of
his good fortune, that he did not think of what
Joseph had told him.

VI. THE DREAMS.

One morning about two years after that, the
King, or Pharaoh, as he was called by his own
people, awoke in great distress. He had had two
dreams in the night which troubled him very much,
and, do what he would, he could not put the thought



71

of them out of his mind. In those days, people
believed that all dreams had a meaning, and that
they foreboded something that was going to happen
in the time to come. All day long the King pon-
dered upon his two dreams, and he could take no
pleasure in anything. The next night he could
not sleep; but, whenever he closed his eyes, the
dreams came back to him.

On the second morning he sent for his wise
men, and said, —

“T have had two strange dreams, and they trou-
ble me greatly. In the first dream I thought I was
stariding ori the banks of the Nile, and looking at
the water as it flowed among the reeds. Then I
saw seven fat cattle come up out of the river; and
they went into the meadow, and fed upon the long
grass. But while I was looking at them, and think-
ing how beautiful they were, seven other cattle came
creeping out of the mud and mire of the river.
They were the leanest cattle that were ever seen,
and they were so weak that they could hardly stand.
But they clambered upon the bank; and, as soon
as they saw the fat cattle in the meadow, they ran
after them with wide-open mouths, and caught them,
and swallowed every one of them. It was a very
strange and impossible thing, and J cannot under-
stand how they could do it; and, stranger still, they



72

were not any fatter after this meal than they had
been before. But while I was looking at them,
I awoke.”

The wise men looked very grave, and shook
their heads.

“Tt was a strange vision, O King!” they said;
“but tell us now of your second dream.”

“The second was so nearly like the first,” said
the King, “that I am quite sure it means the same
thing. I dreamed that I stood on the bank of the
Nile again; and I was looking, not towards the river,
but at the great wheat fields where the grain was
almost ready for the reapers. Then I saw a tall
stalk of wheat that had grown up by my side, and
on it were seven ears of golden grain, the largest
and fairest that ever grew in any land. But while
I looked, seven other ears came out on the same
stalk. They were thin, blasted ears, with scarcely
a single good grain in them all; and when the east
wind blew upon them, they fell upon the fine, large
ears, and ate them up. And while I wondered how
such a thing could be, I awoke.”

The wise men looked very grave, and shook their
heads, and said nothing.

“T have now told you my dreams,” said the
King, “and it is for you to tell me what they
mean.” .



73

“O King!” they said, “these dreams seem very
hard to explain. Allow us, we pray you, to think
upon them ee! to-morrow, and then we will give
you an answer.’

But on the morrow they were as far from under-
standing the dreams as ever.

“ We cannot explain them,” they said.

Then the King’s butler said, “O King! I have in
mind now a thing that happened two years ago,
when I was in prison. Your baker and myself
were in prison at the same time, as you no doubt
remember, and we both’ dreamed dreams on the
same night. It so happened that we told our dreams
to the young man who was our keeper, — the same
man who once managed the estates of the captain
of your guard. He listened to us, and then ex-
plained the dreams; and everything came to pass
just as he told us it would,— I was allowed to come
back to my place, and the baker was hanged.”

“Go at once, and bring the young man to me,”
said the King.

The butler made haste and brought Joseph out
of the prison; and when the young man had taken
a bath and shaved himself, and put on his best
clothes, he was led before the King. The King
was pleased as soon as he saw him, he was so tall
and handsome, and his face was so bright and cheer-



74

ful. Among all the men in the land, there was not
another one whose looks were so noble.

“T have had two strange dreams,” he said, “and
the wisest men in my kingdom cannot explain them.
Iam told that you understand such things, and I
have sent for you to tell me what they mean.”

“The God of my father will help me to explain
them,” said Joseph; “but I myself know nothing
at all.”

When the King had told him his dreams, he stood
still for a moment, thinking. Then he said, —

“ Both dreams mean the same thing. The God
of my father has sent them to you, that you might
know the things which are about to happen in the
Land of the Nile. The seven fat cattle and the
seven big ears of wheat mean seven years of
plenty. The seven lean cattle and the seven
blasted ears of wheat mean seven years of famine.
The meaning of the dreams is this: there will be
seven years of great plenty in all the land; and after
that there will be seven years when nothing can
be raised, and during these years of famine all the
‘former plenty will be eaten up.”

“How soon will these things happen?” asked
the King.

“ The thing was shown to you in two dreams on
the same night, O King!” said the young man; ‘“‘and



75

that is a sign that the time is here now, and that
the years of plenty are about to begin. Now, if
some wise man could be found to take charge of the
matter, it would not be hard to provide against
the years of famine that will follow. Great gran-
aries might be built in all the cities, and the sur-
plus grain might be stored away for use in time of
need.”

Then the King turned to the officers who stood
around him, and said, ‘‘ The young man speaks well,
‘and there may be much truth in what he says. At
any rate, it will do no harm to store away the grain
during these years of plenty, and it will certainly
do great good if the years of dearth should ever
come. Tell me, now, which man in all my kingdom
is the most trustworthy, and the best fitted to man-
age this business.”

“Tf it please the King,” said one of the officers,
“the young man who once had charge of the estates
of the captain of your guard is the most honest and
the best manager in all our land. Never did any-
thing prosper as did the captain’s affairs while that
young man looked after them.”

“Let the young man be brought before me at
once,” said the King.

“He is already here, O King!” said the officer.
“Tt is he that has just now explained your dreams.”



76

Then the King turned to Joseph, and _ said,
“ Truly, I believe that there is no man in the world
so discreet and wise as you are, for I often heard
of you while you were the head servant of the cap-
tain of my guard. Your name is already known in
all parts of my kingdom. You shall manage this
business, and I will set you over all the land to rule
my people.”

And he took a ring from his hand and put it
upon Joseph’s finger, and hung a gold chain about
the young man’s neck, and gave him rich robes of
finest linen to put on.

“Why do men call you Joseph?” he asked; «for
- that is a word which means ‘ He shall add.”

“When I was born,” answered the young man,
“my dear mother said that I was a promise that the
God of my father would add more and more to her
happiness. But she lies now in her lonely grave by
the roadside in far-away Ephrath, and my father’s
three wives keep his tents.”

“ Enough, enough!” cried the King. “ And now,
if you have told me truly, and will manage this busi-
ness aright, you shall be given a new name. You
shall be called Zaphnath-paaneah, or the Master of
the Land.” And then, turning to the officers around
him, he said, “I am Pharaoh, I am the King; but
this man is Zaphnath-paaneah, and he shall stand



77

next to me in all things. His word shall be law,
and, without his leave, no man shall do anything at
all. Heis the Master of the Land of the Nile.”

VII. THE TEN STRANGERS,

In all the world there had never been such crops
as those that were raised during the next seven
years. There was so much wheat that the number
of bushels could not be counted; and all other
kinds of food were so plentiful that no one had
ever any need to be hungry. And during that
time of plenty no one was so busy as the Master
of the Land of the Nile. He was first in this city,
then in that, giving orders about the great grana-
ries that were being built, and seeing that they
were filled with grain. His word was law every- |
where; and no man dared to waste anything, but
all the food that was not needed was laid up in
storehouses against the time of need.

But when the seven years of plenty had passed,
the seven years of dearth began to come, and every-
thing was changed. The ground was so dry, and
the air was so hot, that nothing would grow. In
all the valley of the Nile there was nota stalk of
wheat nor a blade of green grass. In the lands
farther away, things were in even a worse plight:



78

for there the people had not laid up anything when
there was plenty; and so the flocks and herds died
for want of pasture, and thousands of men and
women and children perished because there was
no food. But in the country of the Nile the store-
houses were full, and the rich men of other lands
sent there to buy grain.

One day, when the Master of the Land was selling
wheat at one of the King’s granaries, ten rough-look-
ing strangers were brought before him. They were
sunburned and brown with traveling over the sandy
deserts, and they said that they had come a long
distance from the east. As soon as they saw the
Master of the Land, dressed in his robes of fine
linen, and -wearing the King’s gold chain about
his neck, they bowed themselves, and fell on their
faces before him.

“Who are you?” he said. “ Where do you come
from? What do you want?”

He spoke so harshly, that they trembled with
fear, and did not dare to look up. Then one of
them answered.

“OQ mighty Prince!” he said, “we are from
Hebron, a place many days’ journey from here;
and we have come to buy food for our families,
for in our own land there is nothing to eat.”

“Do not try to deceive me,” said the Master.



79

“I know who you are. You are spies; and you
have come to find out all that you can about us,
and then go and tell it to our enemies.”

“Oh, do not think such a thing of us!” they
cried; and they were filled with greater dread than
before, and did not know what to do. “We are
not spies, but honest men, and true, and we are
all brothers of one family.”

“Have you a father or a brother at home?”
asked the Master.

“ Truly, there were twelve of us,” was the answer;
“and our father, who is an old man, is at home with
the youngest brother, who is still a little child.
The other brother is dead; and this child is left
alone with our father, who loves him most dearly.”

Then the Master seemed to be more angry than
before. “You shall prove that you are not spies.
One of you shall go and fetch this child of whom
you tell me, and the other nine shall lie in jail
until he comes.”

“My lord!” cried the spokesman of the ten
strangers, “the lad cannot leave his father; for, if
we should fetch him away, his father would die.”

“Did I not say that you were spies?” said the
Master; and then, without waiting for another
word, he bade his officers lead the ten men away
to prison.



80

Three days after that, he had them brought be-
fore him again.

“JT have not the heart to treat you cruelly,” he
said. “If you are honest men, let one of you be
bound in prison; and do the rest of you go home
with food for the hungry ones who are there. Then
come again, and bring your little brother, and I will
believe you, and you shall not die.”

And he walked away, and hid his face, and wept.

Then the officers took one of the brothers and
bound him, and led him away to the prison. The
others were set free. They bought as much grain
as their donkeys could carry, and then started sadly
and silently on their long journey home. :

VIII. THE LITTLE BROTHER.

When the nine brothers reached Hebron, the
women and the children ran to meet them, and
the old Prince stood in the door of his tent to
welcome them home. But when they told how the
other brother had been left behind, sadness took
the place of joy.

“ Why did you leave him?” asked the Prince.

“The man who is the Master of the Land kept
him,” said Praise. “He spoke roughly to us, and
threw us into prison as spies. Then he set nine of



81

us free, but the tenth he kept bound. ‘Bring your
youngest brother to me, he said; ‘and then I will
know that you are not spies, and you may all go in
peace.’”

Then the Prince sat down in his tent and wept.
“ All the world is against me!” he cried. “ Two of
my sons are lost, and now you would take Benoni
away. But he shall not go with you; for his brother
is dead, and he is left alone. If. mischief should
befall him, then you will bring me down in sorrow
to the grave.” /

The men unloaded their donkeys, and began to
empty the grain which they had brought. But,
wonder of wonders! in each man’s sack was the
money which he had paid for the wheat. And
they were greatly troubled, and did not know what
to do; for would not the man who was the Master
of the Nile country accuse them of stealing it?

Days and weeks went by, and the famine grew
worse and worse. The grain which the brothers
had brought was almost gone.

“ Boys,” said their father, “ you will have to go
again and buy a little more grain.”

“Tt is no use, unless you will let Benoni go with
us,’ they answered; “for the man said that he
would not listen to us again unless we brought
him.

”

STO. OF THE EAST—6



82

But the old.man wept, and declared that he would
not part with the boy.

Then Praise asked him, “ Which is better, — that
all your children and grandchildren’ should perish
here with hunger, or that we take the risk with the
young lad? I will answer with my life that he shall
come back safe.”

At last the Prince agreed to let the child go.

“Carry a little present down to the man,” he
said. “We have not much that will please him;
but take him a little balm and a little honey, and
some spices and nuts, and carry back the money
that you found in your sacks. There must have
been some mistake about it. Then, when he sees
your little brother, it may be that the great man
will deal kindly with you.”

The brothers did as he told them, and, taking
their presents and the young lad with them, they
went down again into the Land of the Nile.

When the Master of the Land heard that they had
come, he ordered that they should be brought to his
own palace. This frightened them very much, for
they thought that now he would throw them into
prison or put them to death for carrying the money
home in their sacks. When they were led into the
room where he sat, they bowed very low before him,
and gave him the presents which their father had



83

sent; but how poor and little did these presents
seem in the midst of so much grandeur!

“Is your father well, the old man of whom you
told me?” asked the great man. “Is he still alive?”

“Our father is still alive, and he is well,” they
answered; and they again bowed themselves to the
ground.

Then the great man saw the young lad, his own
brother, standing trembling before him.

“Is this your younger brother, about whom you
told me?” he asked.

“This is he,” they answered.

“May the God of your father be ever kind to
you, my lad!” said he; and he turned away, and
went into his own room and wept.

IX. THE DISCOVERY.

That very afternoon the sons of the Prince made
ready to go back to Hebron. They were glad-
hearted now; for the man who was the Master of
the Land had been kind to them, and had believed
them, and had set free their brother who had been
in prison. They hastened to the storehouse, and
bought as much grain as their donkeys could
carry; and, as soon as it was light the next morn-
ing, they started.



84

But they were hardly outside of the city, when
they heard loud cries behind them; and, looking
back, they saw men on horseback riding rapidly
towards them. They stopped, and waited to see
what was wanted. The men rode up. One of them
was the head servant of the Master of the Land.

“What mean you by robbing my master of his
treasures ?” he cried.

“Oh, say not so, my lord!” said Praise, trembling.
“Did we not bring the money back that we found
_ in our sacks? How could we steal silver or gold
from your master? If any one of us has taken that
which is not his own, let him die, and the rest of
us will be your master’s slaves.” .

“What is it that we have stolen?” cried Judge.
“Search us, and see if we have anything of your
master’s.”

“That I will do,” said the head servant. . “ And
the one with whom it is found shall be my master’s
slave, but the rest of you shall go free.”

So they took the sacks from off the backs of the
donkeys, and every man opened his sack. Then
the head servant searched in each sack, beginning
with that of the eldest; and in the young lad’s sack
he found a silver cup of great price, which belonged
to the Master of the Land. When the brothers
saw this, they tore their cloaks in sign of grief and



85

dismay; and then every man loaded his donkey
again, and, without saying a word, followed the
head servant back into the city. They did not
know that the Master himself had caused the cup
to be hidden there.

The great man met them at his own door, and
spoke to them very harshly. “What is this you
have done?” he said. “Did you not know that
nothing can be hidden from me?”

“ We cannot excuse ourselves,” said Praise. “The
case is a clear one, and there is nothing to say.
We are your slaves, and so also is the lad who took
the cup.”

“Not so,” answered the Master. “The rest of
you shall go free; but the lad who had the cup,
he shall be my slave.”

Then Praise pleaded with the great man to spare
the boy. ;

“The lad is the joy and hope of our father,” he
said; “and the old man’s life is bound up in the
life of the child. If we should go home, and our
father see that the lad is not with us, he will die,
and we shall bring down his gray hairs in sorrow to
the grave. Now, I pray you, let me be your slave,
and let the lad go up to Hebron with his brothers!”

Then the great man could keep his secret no
longer. He ordered his officers to leave him alone



86

with the men from Hebron, and then he made
himself known. .

“JT am your brother,” he said. “I am Joseph,
whom you sold to the Arab merchants when I was
alad. Do not think I am angry with you, for it has
all happened for the best. The God of our father, he
brought it about in order to save life; for otherwise
we should all have perished in this great famine.”

Then he fell upon his little brother’s neck and
kissed him; and they both wept together for a long
time. After that, he kissed his older brothers, and
wept with them, and talked with them about the
wonderful things which had happened to him.

“ And now,’ said he, “ hasten back to the old home
in Hebron, and say to our father that his son Joseph
is still alive, and is the master of all the Land of the
Nile. Bid him come down to me at once, and say
that he shall live near me with his children, and his
children’s children, and his flocks and his herds;
and I will provide for you all.”

Then he gave fine coats to each of the men; but
to his young brother he gave five suits of the rich-
est clothing, and three hundred pieces of silver;
and to his father he sent twenty donkeys laden
with grain and bread and meat, and the good
things of the land. He sent also a great number
of wagons to bring him and the women and the



87

children down into the Land of the Nile. And
his brothers, with glad hearts, hastened to do all.
things as he directed.

When at last the aged Prince, with all his family,
came down into the country of the Nile, the King
allowed the Master to give his father and his broth-
ers homes in the best part of the land, where they
could dwell in peace, and care for their flocks and
herds. The King himself went out to meet the
Prince, and the Prince blessed him.

“ How old are you?” asked the King.

“The days of the years of my pilgrimage,”
answered the old man, “are a hundred and thirty
years. Few and evil have the days of the years
of my life been.”

And the Prince and his children, and his chil-
dren’s children, made themselves homes in that part
of the Land of the Nile which was called Goshen.







THE GREAT LAWGIVER.

I. THE KINGS DAUGHTER.

TueERE once lived in the Land of the Nile a
nation of bondmen.

These people had not always been slaves. They
said that the great ancestor from whom they were
all descended, had been a man of renown in his
day, and had won for himself the title of Israel, or
the Prince; and so they called themselves Israelites,
or the Children of the Prince. They liked to tell
of the time when the Prince had come down into the
country from a foreign land, and with his children,
and his children’s children, had settled in the fertile
valley of Goshen. And they proudly remembered
the fact that one of the Prince’s sons had been the
Master of the Land of the Nile, and second only to
the King; and they delighted to tell how this great
man had been wont to ride in his chariot from city
to city, and how all the people bowed the knee
before him, and made ‘/his word their law.

. 88



“89

But now four hundred years had passed since
. that glorious time, and many sad changes had come
to the Children of the Prince. Their lands had
been taken from them, they had been robbed of
their flocks and herds, and cruel laws had been
made in order to afflict them; and yet they had
seemed to prosper, and their numbers had grown
until there were tens of thousands of them in
Goshen. At last there came to the throne a
Pharaoh, or King, who had never heard of their
great ancestor, but whose heart was filled with
hatred towards them.

“What shall we do with the folk who call them-
selves the Children of the Prince?” he said. “If
we let them alone, they will soon outnumber us, and
will make themselves our masters. They are good
workmen and cunning traders, and it would be a
loss to the country to destroy them; and yet some-
thing must be done to hold them in check.”

And so laws were passed which made the Chil-
dren of the Prince a nation of slaves; and Pharaoh
sent their young men into the cities and towns to
work under taskmasters, and build walls and forts
and palaces of brick and stone. It was also ordered
that every boy baby that was born to any of these
people should be put to death. In this way the
cruel King hoped to put an end to their increase,



go

and at the same time strengthen his kingdom and
enrich himself.

One day, not long after this, it happened that the
King’s daughter went out with her maidens to bathe
in the river. As she was walking along the bank,
she saw something floating among the reeds in the
shallow water of the stream, and she sent one of her
maidens to get it. When it was brought to her, it
proved to be a light basket made of rushes woven
together, and daubed with pitch so as to make it
water-tight and strong. The King’s daughter opened
the lid of the basket, and looked in; and there she
saw a pretty babe, about three months old, lying on
a little cushion of leaves. When the child saw the
lady, he held out his hands towards her and cried;
and her kind heart was filled with pity, and she
bent over and kissed him.

“He must belong to one of the slaves who call
themselves Children of the Prince,” she said. “How
sad that so pretty a babe should perish! ”

While the King’s daughter and her maidens
were fondling the child, and trying to make him
cease his weeping, a little girl came timidly for-
ward, and listened to what they were saying.

‘‘ How I should like to keep him for my own!”
said the lady, as she took him from the basket
and held him lovingly in her arms.









AND THERE SHE SAW A PRETTY

(9x)



92

Then the little girl took courage, and spoke.

“Shall I go and find a woman to nurse the child
for you?” she asked.

“Yes, go,” said the lady.

Now, the little girl was none other than the
sister of the babe. Ever since the basket had
been set afloat among the reeds, she had been
standing by the river, watching, and hoping that
this very thing would happen; for, if the lady
would take pity on the child, his life might be
saved. She ran as fast as she could, and told her
mother all that the King’s daughter had said.»
Then her mother hastened with glad heart to the
riverside, where the King’s daughter and her maid-
ens were still fondling the child; for now he had.
ceased his crying, and was playing with the lady’s
necklace, and cooing softly to his new-found friends.

“Here is a woman who will nurse the child
for you,” said the little girl.

“Come, then,” said the lady to the child’s
mother, “come into my home and take care of
this babe for me, and I will pay you well.”

And so the babe was taken into the King’s
palace, and brought up by his own mother. He
was called the son of the King’s daughter; and
she gave him the name of Moses, which meant
that he had been drawn out of the water.



93

Il. THE SHEPHERD.

The child grew fast, and soon became a hand-
some lad, quick and strong, and full of promise.
He was treated in every way as though he were
really the grandson of the King. The wisest men
in the land were sought out to be his teachers,
and he became learned in all the lore of those
ancient times: for they taught him whatever
was known about the world and its people, and
about the laws and customs of the land; they
taught him how to be a brave. soldier, and how
to be a leader of men; they instructed him in
music and in magic, and in the science of the
stars; and they told him about the idols whom
the people ignorantly worshiped, and about the
great God, the ruler of all things. No young
man ever had brighter prospects than he; for it
was the wish, both of the King and of the King’s
daughter, that he should in the end become a
great ruler in the land, and that he should stand
next in power to the King himself. But his own
mother, the humble nurse who cared for him in
his childhood, had taught him something else. It
was she who told him of his kinsmen, and how
they had lived for now four hundred years in the
land, and how they had been robbed and oppressed



94

and enslaved, and how in every city and town
his brethren were being lashed and driven by
cruel taskmasters. And she told him about the
great ancestor of his people, the Prince, — how
he had come as a stranger and settled in the
valley of Goshen; and how before he died he had
told his sons that they should not always stay in
the Nile country, but that somewhere there was a
land flowing with milk and honey which the great
God whom they reverenced had promised to them
and their descendants as a heritage and a home
so long as the world should last. These words
sank deep into the heart of the lad, deeper by far
than all the lore he had learned from his teach-
ers; and the older he grew, the more he yearned
towards his kinsfolk, and the more he longed to
help them escape from their grievous burdens.

One day, after he had become a grown-up man,
Moses was walking in the fields where some of his
people were toiling; and in a lonely spot he saw one
of the King’s taskmasters beatinga man. He looked
this way and that, and, when he saw that no one
was near, he killed the taskmaster, and hid his body
in the sand. The next day he was walking near
the same place, and there he saw two of his own
people fighting.

“For shame!” he cried. “Why do you do so



95

wrong a thing as to quarrel with each other?”
And he ran and tried to part them.

“Who made you a judge over us?” said one of
the men. “Do you want to kill me as you killed
the taskmaster yesterday?”

When the young man heard this, he was fright-
ened.

“Surely the thing is known,” he said to himself;
“but how did any one find it out?”

Then, without saying another word, he turned,
and fled from the place. He knew that the laws of
the land were very strict, and that, if it should be
proven that he had killed the taskmaster, he would
be punished, perhaps with death. He dared not
stop even to say good-by to his friends. There
was no safety for him anywhere in the Land of the
Nile; and so he fled into the far wilderness country
where there were no cities, nor towns, nor settled
homes, but only wandering bands of Arabs and a
few keepers of sheep.

One afternoon he came to a well in the midst of
a grove of palm trees, and sat down in the shade to
rest. On the grassy plain not far away there were
many flocks of sheep feeding, and the tops of white
tents could be seen among the hills beyond. The -
young man was tired with his long wanderings, and
he was in no haste to leave a spot that seemed so



96

quiet and peaceful and safe. He had not been there
long, however, when he heard the tinkle of bells
and the sound of pleasant voices; and, peering out
from his place, he saw seven handsome young girls
driving a flock of sheep towards the well.

“ Make haste, sisters,” said one of them. “Draw
up the water quickly, and fill the troughs, that so
the sheep may drink before the men see us.”

Three of the maidens hurried with their pails to
draw the water, while the others urged the timid
flock to the troughs. But scarcely had the panting
sheep begun to drink, when loud shouts were heard
near by, and a half dozen rude shepherds came run-
ning to drive them away.

“Have we not told you to wait until we have
given our sheep drink?” they cried. “There is
hardly water enough for all.”

Then the young man Moses stood up and showed
himself, and drove the rude shepherds from the
well, and helped the maidens water their flock.

That evening the girls drove their sheep home
much earlier than was their wont.

“Why is it that you have come home so soon
to-day?” asked their father.

“A young stranger was at the well,” they an-
swered, “and he kept the shepherds away while our
sheep drank from the troughs.”



97

“ Yes,” said Zipporah, the youngest and handsom-
est of the seven, “and he also drew the water for us,
and watered the flock.”

“ And where is the stranger?” said their father.
“Why is it that you did not bring him home with
you? Make haste and call him, that he may eat
bread with us, and lodge for the night in our tent.”

The young man was glad to become the guest of
the good Arab, and he was in no haste to go farther.
Every day he helped the maidens drive their sheep
to the pasture, and every evening he sat in the tent
door, and listened to the wise talk of the old man
their father. Thus the time passed pleasantly away,
and at last he made up his mind to stay in that quiet,
peaceful place, and be a shepherd all the rest of his
life. And so he married the pretty Zipporah, and
kept the flock of her father, and lived in her father’s
tents, and cared no more for the riches and power
which might have been his in the Land of the
Nile.

II. THE BURNING BUSH.

Forty years passed by.

‘The Children of the Prince were still toiling under
their cruel taskmasters in the Land of the Nile;
and every day their burdens were made heavier, and
their bondage became more bitter. In their great

STO. OF THE EAST—7



98

distress they cried out, and prayed God that he
would send them help.

In the mean while Moses kept his father-in-law’s
sheep in the wild country of the Arabs. But he
had not forgotten his kinsfolk in the Land of the
Nile, and the memory of their troubles was always
in his mind. One day, as he was tending his flock
on the side of a mountain, he saw a strange vision.
A bush that stood close by seemed to catch fire,
and burn with a blaze that was brighter than the
sun, and yet it was not harmed in the least. While
he stood looking at it, and wondering, he saw an
angel in the flame, and heard a voice calling him
by name.

“ Here am I,” he answered.

“Come not any nearer, for this is holy ground, 2
said the voice.

Then Moses hid his face for fear, and stood still
and listened. And the voice told him how his kins-
folk were oppressed in the Land of the Nile, and
how they had cried to God for help. -

“Go down, therefore,” it said, “and free my
people from their bondage, and lead them forth
into the Land of Promise.”

But Moses said, “How can I do this thing?
How can I go before the King, and persuade him to
let the Children of the Prince go free? Iam slow



Full Text


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The Baldwin Library

University
RnB
Florida


ECLECTIC SCHOOL READINGS

OLD STORIES OF THE EAST

BY :

JAMES BALDWIN

NEW YORK::: CINCINNATI-:- CHICAGO
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY
CopyRIGHT, 1896, BY
AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY,



STO, OF THE EAST,

W. P. 2.
PREFACE.

THERE are few stories which in themselves are more intensely
interesting than those that have come down to us from antiquity
through the medium of the Hebrew Scriptures. Yet they have
been so generally and so exclusively employed for the purpose of
imparting religious instruction, that their purely literary qualities
have not always received the attention which they merit. By
very many persons, grown-up people as well as children, they are
regarded as being inseparably connected with the services of the
Sunday school and the Church, and hence scarcely to be thought
of during the secular days of the week. There is really no good
reason why this should be so. Indeed, there is no good reason
why children in the day schools should not read these old stories
of the East with as much freedom and with as eager zest as they
peruse the classic myths of Greece or the ever-charming tales
with which the world of modern fiction abounds.

In the present volume it has been the aim of the author to
retell these stories from a literary standpoint, and in exactly the
same manner as he would retell other stories pertaining to the
infancy of the human race. He has endeavored to represent
the actors in them as real men and women inhabiting the same
world as ourselves ; and, while it has been neither possible nor

3
4

desirable to omit frequent allusions to the supernatural, care has
been taken not to trespass on the domain of the religious teacher,
In order the better to carry out this plan, the Hebrew names are
used sparingly, and are often omitted in favor of their English
equivalents. It is believed that this device will not only give to
some of the stories < flavor of newness, but that it will in many
instances help the young reader to a readier appreciation of their
beauty.

While each of the twelve stories in this volume is wholly inde-
pendent of the others, and may be read without any knowledge
of those which precede it, there is nevertheless a continuity from
the first to the last, giving to the collection the completeness of a
single narrative. It comprises, in short, the history of the origin
of the Hebrew race, and of the chief events connected with the
life of that people down to the period of their greatest prosperity.

Whether or not this presentation of the subject may be an
incentive to a closer acquaintance witl; the matchless volume from
which the stories are derived, has not been a matter of considera-
tion on the part of the writer. His sole aim has been to prepare
a book which all children at school may read with pleasure, both
because of the simple language in which it is written and: because
of the conceptions of beauty and truth that are found in the
stories which it contains.
CONTENTS.

pen
5 PAGE
THE GARDEN OF DELIGHT : ‘ : . . Fs : 7
THE Two BROTHERS : . ted a . : » 14
THE FLOOD OF WATERS . : 5 . . . . . 18
THE GREAT CHIEF.
I. The Promise . : i j " . 5 elo
II. The New Name. . ‘ . . . . - . 30
III. The Strangers . : . . : . aden S
IV. The Burnt Offering . . ‘ : 5 : - 36
V. TheFaithfulServant .« . . . +. + 39
Views Beauty-and: Laughter’. © i000. a ea
THE MASTER OF THE LAND OF THE NILE.
I. The Dreamer . : . 3 : ; . oe eb
IJ. TheJourney . : ; : : ‘ . Sieh 3
III. The Dry Well . : : : ° ° : . 58
TVeeee Phe: Caravan esi5. is ate ae he pede — pe eA 63
V. The Prison : : : . : : : . 67
VI. The Dreams. ; ; : . : : - 70
VII. The Ten Strangers . , : 7 ‘ . ETT,
VIII. The Little Brother . : s . § -. 80
IX. The Discovery . : : : ‘ : : . 83
Tue GREAT LAWGIVER.
I. The King’s Daughter . ages : : . 88
II. The Shepherd . : ; . . : . .- 93
Il]. The Burning Bush. ; ; . : . : 97
IV. The Ten Plagues : : : : ae . Ior
V. The Long Journey . . . . ; . - 106
“ THE MAN WHOSE EYES WERE OPEN.”
I. The Soothsayer .
II. The Vision
III. The First Mountain
IV. The Second Mountain
V. The Third Mountain .

TuE BEE AND THE GAZELLE.
I. The Bee
II. The Gazelle
III. The Song .

IpDoL BREAKER.
I. The Idol
Il. The Angel
III. The Camp.
IV. The Flight

THE STORY OF SPLENDID SUN.
I. The Wanderers .
II. The Stranger
III. The Riddle
IV. The Foxes.
V. The Secret.
VI. The Temple

A Story OF HARVEST TIME.
I. The Gleaner
II. The Harvest Feast
III. The Wedding

THE SHEPHERD BOY WHO BECAME KING.

I. The Seer
‘II. The King .
III. The Giant .
IV. The Camp.

V. The Sling .

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THE GARDEN OF DELIGHT.

Once there was a Man, and he lived in a wonder-
ful garden. I do not know how large the garden
was, but it was full of beautiful things. Four rivers
flowed through it; and there were many little lakes
and waterfalls, and cool, bubbling springs. All the
finest fruits in the world grew there, and the trees
were full of blossoms, and the ground was covered
with flowers the whole year round: for there was
no winter there,—no snow, nor ice, nor killing
frost; but every day the warm winds blew softly
from the sea, and the mild sun looked down from
the clear blue sky.

The Man had been in the garden ever since he
could remember. The great Master had placed
him there to watch and tend it. For a long time

7
8

he was very happy, and he had no thought of any-
thing but of his work and of the many beautiful
things that were around him. After a while, how-
ever, he began to feel very lonely in that great
garden all by himself. He thought’ how much
better it would be if he could only have some one
to talk with, and to help him in his work. He
could not remember that he had ever seen any
human being, and he did not know whether there
were any other men or women in all the world.
But he was very lonely; and the more he thought
about it, the lonelier he became.
One day the Master sent a Woman into the
_ garden, to live there and to be the Man’s wife. .
She was very beautiful,— graceful and tall and
fair; and when the Man saw her, he was filled with
wonder and delight. And she was pleased too;
for the Man was noble and strong and brave and
handsome, and all that the Master had told her
about him was true. And so the two lived together
in the garden, and tended and kept it. They had
a care not only for the flowers and fruits, but for
the animals; for among the trees there were many
birds, and all kinds of beasts roamed freely about
-the garden. When the Man and the Woman
walked out, every creature was glad to see them.
Lions and tigers, as well as the timid little animals
9
of the fields, would play before them; and all kinds
of birds would sing in the branches above them.
Everything that lived in the garden was tame
and gentle, and there was nothing that would hurt
any one or make one afraid. There was not even
a thorn or a thistle to be found anywhere.

In the very center of the garden there stood a
wonderful tree that was always full of fine fruit.
The Man and the Woman went often to look at it,
and to sit in its shade; but they did not touch
the beautiful apples that grew upon its branches.
The Master of the garden had told the Man to let
them alone.

“You may eat every other kind of fruit,” he said,
“but you must never, never taste these apples.”

And then he told the Man what would happen if
he should ever taste them. There was a kind of
poison in them that would change his whole nature.
He would grow tired of his work; he would be-
come restless and ill at ease; he would grumble
and complain; he would make everybody unhappy;
he would frighten the birds, and they would fly
away from him; he would abuse the beasts, and
they would become his enemies; he would neglect
his duty, and thorns and thistles would spring up;
and by and by he would die.

Often when the Man and the Woman looked at
Io

the fruit, they wondered how anything so beautiful
could doso much harm. But whenever the thought |
came into their minds that they would like to have
just one taste of it, the Man would shake his head,
and say, “ The Master forbids.”

Then, hand in hand, they would walk away; and
the birds in the trees would sing as they passed,
and the beasts would dance before them.

There was one cunning Beast, however, that did
not love the Man and Woman. He was a strange
creature, that was never so happy as when plotting
mischief. But in the garden, where everything was
friendly to everything else, he did not dare to do
any harm openly.

One day he met the Woman alone, sis after she
had been looking at the beautiful fruit. He knew
that she wanted to taste it.

“ Do you believe what the Master told you about
those apples?” he said.

“Yes,” she said; “for the Master planted the
tree, and he knows all about its fruit.”

“You are very silly,” said the cunning Beast. “I
know all about the fruit, and I tell you it will not
hurt you at all.”

“ But why, then, should the Master forbid us to
taste it?” she asked.

“He knows that it will make you wise,” he said.
II

“ He knows that it will make you like him; and he
wants to keep you poor and ignorant and weak, so
that you will not know how to do anything but tend
and keep his garden.”

“The fruit really is beautiful,” said the Woman;
and she turned and looked at the tree again. :

‘“And it is good, too,” said the Beast. “Come,
I'll get one of the apples for you, and you can taste
it. He will never know.”

And while the Woman stood and hardly knew
what to do, the Beast ran and pulled one of the
apples from the tree and gave it to her. It seemed
to be prettier than ever, now that it lay in her hand.

She would just take a little taste. It could do no
harm.

Ah! but it was so good, that she ate it all up.

Then she thought it would be a great pity if the
Man could not taste of the fruit too; and she went
to, the tree and picked the finest apple she could
reach, and ran to give it to him.

“Tt is not true about those apples,” she said. “I
have eaten one of them, and it hasn’t hurt me at all.
And so I have brought you one. Just taste it, and
see how good it is.”

“Well, the Master will never know,” said the
Man; and he took the apple, and ate it, and thought
it was very good.
12

A little while after that, the Master came into the
garden to look at things and to talk with the Man
and the Woman; for he very often came in the cool

of the evening, and walked with them among the
“ flowers. and trees. They heard him calling their
names, and they felt sure that he had found out all
about what they had done. So, instead of answer-
ing him and running to meet him, as they had
always done before, they made haste and hid them-
selves in a thicket of underbrush.

But the Master saw them, and bade them come
out. Then he asked what they had been doing to
make them afraid of him. Of course, they had
to tell him. But the Man tried to put all the
blame on the Woman.

“ She gave it to me, and & did eat,” he said.

And then the Woman tried to excuse herself, and
said that it was the fault of the cunning Beast.

“He told me that it would not harm us,” she
said. “He told me that if we would eat of it, we
should be wise; and when he offered me one of the
apples, it was so beautiful that I could not help but
taste it.”

‘But did I not forbid you even to touch the
fruit of the tree?” said the Master. “Did I not
tell you that, if you did so, it would cause grief
and pain and death? And now, strange to say,
13

you have chosen to believe this Beast rather than
me.” ,

The Man hung his head, and said not a word;
and the Woman wept.

Then the Master told them what he would do to
punish them. As for the Beast, he was turned into
a serpent, and has crawled on the ground and been
hated by all men ever since. And as for the
Man and the Woman, they were driven out of the
Garden of Delight, and were told that they must
work for their bread ail the rest of their days.
Thorns and thistles grew up in their path, and the
birds stopped singing and flew from them in fear,
and the wild beasts snarled at them and slunk away
into the forest. And the Master placed a watch-
man at the gate of the garden, with a sun-bright
sword in his hand, so that nobody could ever go
into it again.

The name of the Man was Adam, and the name
of the Woman was Eve.






THE TWO BROTHERS.

Wuewn the Man and the Woman were driven out
of the Garden of Delight, they wandered about for
some time, hardly knowing what to do. The whole

. world was before them, and they could go where
they chose; and yet they wanted to stay as near as
they could to the place where they had passed so
many happy days. So at last the Man built a little
hut in a pleasant spot near the bank of a great
river, where the sun shone warm, and the grass
grew tall, and the trees were laden with wild fruits;
and there they lived. The Man dug up the ground,
and sowed seeds, and raised grain; and the Woman
kept the little house, and learned to make clothing
of fig leaves, and afterwards of the skins of animals.

And so one year after another passed by, and in

«time the house was full of children, and it was as
much as the Man could do to find food enough for
the many mouths that were always wanting to be
fed; but the Woman, when she saw the happy,

14
15

smiling faces of her boys and girls, and heard their
childish prattle, would not have given them up for
all the joys that she men have had in the Garden
of Delight.

The eldest of the Eeie was a headstrong fellow,
bold and rash; and when he grew up, he became a
farmer, like his father. The second son was a gen-
tle lad, but, with all his gentleness, so vain that his
mother called him Vanity; and when he grew up -
he became a shepherd, and tended sheep on the
grass-covered hills.

It was the custom of the young men to carry
presents now and then to the great Master,—a
custom which their father also observed, and which
they had learned from him. One day they went,
as usual, each with his gift. The Farmer carried
a basket of ripe fruit, yellow and golden, mellow
and sweet. The Shepherd carried two young
lambs, white and spotless as the snow on the
high mountain tops. The Master was pleased
with the lambs; but for some reason—I cannot
tell what—he did not care for the basket of fruit.
The proud heart of the Shepherd was filled with
joy, and I do not know how often he taunted his
elder brother because he had failed to please the
Master. The Farmer was at first grieved, and then
he grew angry; and one day, when they were in the
16

field together, his wrath was stirred up until he
could hold himself no longer: in a blind fit of rage
he struck his brother a fierce blow, and stretched
him dead upon the ground.

When he saw that the Shepherd did not move
nor speak, he was frightened, and ran and hid him-
self among the trees. But he seemed to see the
white face of his handsome brother always before
“him; and he heard a voice, saying, “ Where is he?”

‘“Am I my brother’s keeper?” he asked; and he
tried to stop his ears, so that he should not hear
anything more. ;

But the voice said, “ What have youdone? Your
brother’s blood cries to me from the ground.”

Then the young man knew that it was the-
Master’s voice; and he covered his face and stood
trembling.

“For this thing which you have done,” said the
Master, “you. shall wander alone and _ unfriended
through the land. Even the earth shall be against
‘you; for when you till the ground, it shall not yield
grain, and the trees shall refuse to bear fruit for
you as in bygone days, and naught that you do shall
- prosper.”

Then the young man, in great distress, prayed
the Master that he would somewhat lighten his
punishment. “For,” said he, “if I go out thus to
17

wander alone and unfriended through the land, the
first man that meets me will slay me.”

So then the Master put a mark upon him to warn
all who saw him that they should do him no harm.
_And the young man wandered far away. into a
strange land in the distant East. There he made
his home, and there he built a city, —the first city
of which: we have any account. But no matter
what he did, the dreadful mark was always upon -
him;.and he fancied that the air was full of voices,
asking, “ Where is your brother? Where is your
brother?” Thus he lived unfriended and in dis-
tress all the days of his life. .

The name of this farmer was Cain, a word which
in ancient times meant Man; and the name of the
brother whom he slew was Abel, or Vanity.

Three of the great-grandsons of Cain became
men of much renown: one, Jabal, was the founder
of a nation of tent dwellers; one, Jubal, was the
inventor of the harp; and one, Tubal-cain, worked
in iron and brass, and was the most famous smith
of ancient times.



STO. OF THE EAST — 2




THE FLOOD OF WATERS.

In those very early times people lived much
longer than they live now. Whether it was be-
~ cause the air was milder, or the water purer, or their
food more simple, I do not know; but it is said
that men often lived to be seven hundred, eight
hundred, and even nine hundred years old; and
one man was nine hundred and sixty-nine years
of age when he died. A person was only in his
prime at five hundred, and the golden days of
childhood and youth must have lasted for at least
a century.
You would think that people were very happy in
those days, but they were not. They were quarrel-
ing and fighting among themselves almost all the
time. Those who were powerful and strong op-
pressed those who were feeble and weak. The rich
robbed the poor. Strange cruel men, called giants,
roamed here and there, filling the world with terror.
There was no peace or safety anywhere, but only dis-
18
19

tress and fear and dreadful wickedness. It seemed
as if it would have been better had the earth never
been made.

In the midst of all this wickedness there was only
one man who was good and true. The name of
this man was Noah, which, in the language of that
ancient time, meant Comfort. Why he was called
by that name I do not know; but perhaps it was
because his ways were so cheery and pleasant, and
his heart so kind and pure. He often told his
neighbors how wrong it was to do as they were
doing, and he warned them that if they did not
change their ways some great disaster would surely
befall them. But they only laughed at him, and
then kept on in their wickedness as before. _

At last, when Noah was five hundred years old,
he began to do a thing at which everybody won-
dered. He and his three sons set to work felling
trees in the woods; and when they had cut a great
deal of timber, they hauled it into one place, and
began to shape the logs into posts and beams and
rafters and planks. The neighbors.came and looked
on while the men worked, and then they jeered at
them.

“What are you doing?” they asked.

“We are building a boat,” said the good man
quietly.
20

“Ha, ha!” laughed his neighbors. “Who ever
did so foolish a thing as to build a boat on a hilltop
a hundred miles from the sea? You have lost your
senses.”

“T have not lost my senses,” was the answer.
“The great God whom I worship is angry with
you because of your wickedness, and he is going to
send a great flood of water upon you to destroy you
from the earth. It was he that bade me build this
boat, or ark, that so I and my family may be saved
alive; and you too may be saved if you will only
turn about and live as you ought, and help me in
this work.”

But they laughed and jeered all the more, and
instead of helping they tried to hinder him.

It took the good man and his sons a long time to
finish the boat, —a hundred years, or nearly so. It
was a huge vessel, five hundred feet long and eighty
feet broad. It was three stories high, with one door,
and one window in the side, and the whole was
covered with a roof. When at last it was all ready,
and made water-tight without and within, they began
to store it with food. They put into it not only
provisions for themselves, but a great supply of hay
and grain, and roots and fruit, and eatables of every
sort. Then they went out into the woods and fields,
and brought together all the wild and tame animals
(12)









But THEY LAUGHED AND JEERED ALL THE MORE.
22

‘that could be found, — beasts and fowls and creep-
ing things, two of every kind that lived on the
earth. It was a strange sight to see these creatures
marching up the hill, and going quietly into the
great boat, as if they knew that it was the only safe
place for them. The lions did not quarrel with the
tigers, and the sheep were not afraid of the wolves;
but each one took the place that had been set apart
for it in the ark, and all were as peaceable and kind
as though they were members of the same happy
family. When the last of these creatures had been
safely housed, Noah and his three sons and their
wives, eight persons in all, went up into the ark,
and the door was shut behind them.

Then the rain began to fall in torrents, and the
fountains of the great deep were broken up. For
forty days and forty nights this went on without
stopping, and the sea was filled to overflowing, and
the water covered the land until even the tops of
the mountains were hidden by it. All the people
of the land were drowned, and all the cattle and
wild beasts and creeping things in field or wood
were destroyed. But the great ark floated on the
waters, and the eight good people and the living
creatures that were housed within it were kept
alive and safe.

For five long months the land was covered by the
23

flood; and those who looked out of the window of
the ark could see nothing but water, water every-
where. At last, however, there came a great wind
which seemed to drive the waters away; and one
day the ark settled on the top of a high mountain
which men call Mount Ararat to this day. But
still the waters sank very slowly, and the people in
the ark dared not open the door, for there was no
place for them to set their feet outside.

After forty days, Noah opened the window and
let a raven fly out; for he wanted to see if the bird
could live outside of the ark. The raven flew back
and forth from one bare mountain crag to another,
but it never came back. By and by Noah sent out
a dove in the same way; but the dove could find
nothing to eat, nor any safe place in which to rest,
and so at last returned to the ark.

A week later, however, when the people looked
out of the window, there was no water in sight.
From the high place where the ark was lying they
could see nothing but bare rocks and rugged peaks
and mountain gorges. They did not know that
the lower slopes were already green with grass, and
that the trees were budding and blossoming as in
the time of spring. But one morning they sent
out the dove again, and in the evening she came
back with an olive branch in her mouth.
24

“The waters have dried up, and the fields are
beginning to appear,” they said.

They staid yet another week in the ark, and then
they sent out the dove for the third time. But she
did not return again; for now all the fields were
dry, and she could find plenty of food and a place
to build her nest. But Noah was not yet ready to
leave the ark.

“Wait a while,” he said, “until the voice of God
shall bid us go forth.” .

And so, for two months more, they staid in the
great vessel, and knew nothing of what was going
on in the woods and plains below them. But one
day Noah and his sons lifted off the roof of the ark
and looked around; and, at the same time, they
seemed to hear a voice bidding them go forth and
choose homes for themselves in the land which the
great flood had made desolate. Then they opened
wide the door of the ark, and all went out, and made
their way down the steep mountain side to the green
and pleasant plains below; and the beasts and the
fowls and the creeping things went out also, two by
two, and scattered hither and thither over the land.
They had been in the ark just one year.

And when Noah and his family reached the foot
of the mountain, and saw the meadows dotted with
flowers, and the trees already laden with fruit, and


25

the land lying smiling and fair before them, their
hearts were filled with thankfulness. And they
built an altar of stones, and worshiped the great
God who had blessed them and kept them through
so many perils. And while they worshiped, they
heard a voice, saying, —

«J will not again curse the ground for man’s sake.
So long as the earth remains, seedtime and harvest,
and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day
and night, shall not cease.”

Then, looking up, they saw a rainbow spanning
the sky.

“It is the bow of promise!” they cried.

After that, the three sons of. Noah went out with
their wives into the broad rich valleys that lie on
either side of the great river Euphrates; and there
they built themselves homes. And by and by
many children were born to them, and grandchildren
and great-grandchildren,— so many that the land
was full again of busy people, just as it had been -
before the great flood. Then some of the people |
journeyed to the East, and built cities for themselves
in the vast plains beyond the snowy mountains.
Some went to the South, and found life easy under
sunny skies, where the trees were always laden with
fruit, and there was no need to toil, or, indeed, to take
26

any thought for the morrow. Some went to the
North, where the summers were short, and the win-
ters long and cold; and they learned to hunt the
wild beasts in the great woods, or to build rude boats
and sail from place to place along the shore of the
sea. Some went to the West, and herded cattle and
sheep in the green pasture lands that stretched away
and away, even to the Great Sea and the borders of
Arabia the Happy. And some crossed over into the
rich country of the Nile, where the date palm flour-
ished, and bountiful crops of grain were harvested
almost every month in the year. But many still
remained in the valley of the Euphrates.

It was thus that the whole world was peopled
once again.








THE GREAT CHIEF.

I. THE PROMISE.

In the fertile country many miles to the west of
the Euphrates valley there lived a famous Chief
who was very rich. It was not the custom in that
land to build houses or to have any fixed place for
a home; and so this Chief dwelt in tents, and roved
hither and thither, wherever his fancy led him, or
wherever the pastures were greenest, or the water
most plentiful, or his neighbors most kind. Once
he pitched his tents in the wooded valley of the
Jordan, once he dwelt for a year in the treeless
plains of Arabia, and once when there was a great
drought he went down into the Land of the Nile,
and camped under the palm trees in full view of the
King’s palace. But among all the lands through
which he had wandered, there was none that seemed
so fair to him as the grassy plains and vine-covered
hills that lay between the sandy desert and the
eastern shore of the Great Sea. Oftentimes when,

27
28

in the evening, he stood in the door of his tent and
looked towards the setting sun, he fancied that he
heard a voice, saying, —

“ All this lovely land that you see shall be yours,
and your children’s, and your children’s children’s,
forever. Go forth and walk through the land in the
length of it and the breadth of if for I have prou
ised it, and will give it unto you.”

Then the great Chief would bow his head and
worship and give thanks.

“Tt is the voice of God,” he would say; “and
this land that is so fair and in every way so lovely
is the Promised Land.”

And in the early morning he liked to stand by
the eastern door of his tent, and watch the sun as it
rose from the mystic regions far beyond the valley.
of the Euphrates. He was now nearly a hundred
years old; but he stood as tall and straight as in
the days of his youth, his eyes were bright and keen,
his step was quick and firm, his voice was clear and
strong. The plain before him was dotted with
flocks of sheep, and herds of cattle, and droves of
camels; and in the grove on either side of him were
clusters of tents where lived many busy people, —
serving women, and milkmaids, and shepherds, and
armed men,— whose only thought was to do his
bidding.
29

- Did I say that the Chief was very rich? Every-
thing that he could see from the eastern door
of the tent, except the land and the sky, was his
own. Sheep, cattle, camels, tents, even the men
and women and children, belonged to him; for in
those times one man was often the master and
owner of many others; and, as he was always kind
and just and fatherly, nobody complained, and no-
body thought there was anything wrong about it.

The gr®at Chief had not always been a wanderer
and dweller in tents. In his youth he had lived
with his father and his kinsfolk in the valley of the
Euphrates; and it was there that he married his
wife, a dark-eyed beauty whom everybody called the
Princess. But when he was scyene -five years old,
he heard a voice, saying,

“Get you out from this country, and from your
kindred, and from your father’s house, and go west-
ward unto the land that I will show you.”

“Tt is the voice of God,” he said; and he fell
down to the ground and worshiped. And on the
morrow he gathered together his goods and all his
household, and went forth in search of the Promised
Land. And that was the way in which he became
a roving chieftain in strange lands, and that was
why he liked always to watch the rising sun as it
came up out of its golden palace in the East.
30

II. THE NEW NAME.

Now, at this time the Chief and the Princess
had no child of their own. But they had with
them a nephew named Lot, who was married and
had a family of fair daughters, and was almost as
rich in flocks and herds as was the Chief himself.
One summer they pitched their tents in the hilly
country to the west of the Jordan; for in the lower
valleys men had built houses and were*tilling the
ground, and on the level plain were two busy cities
called Sodom and Gomorrah. But there was not
much water among the hills; and when the Chief's
herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen met at the wells to
water their cattle, they often quarreled and fought.
So at last the Chief thought that it would be better
for him and his nephew to separate.

“See all this fair country with rich pastures to
the right and the left,” he said to Lot. “There
is certainly room enough for both of us. So do
you choose any part of the land that you like best,
and I will take the rest.”

And Lot chose the fields that lay in the level
plain, and took a house in Sodom, which was near
by; for he thought that a settled life in town would
be pleasanter than dwelling, first here and then
there, in tents. But the Chief went a little farther
31

away, and encamped for a time in the grassy plain
of Mamre, close by the hills of Hebron.

One night, as the Chief lay dreaming in his tent,
he was very unhappy because he had no son to
whom he might leave his great riches and the
pleasant land that had been promised to him and
his children forever. ;

“How can this promise come true,” he said,
“when I have no children?”

But even while he was complaining, he looked
up at the sky, where millions of stars were twin-
kling; and a voice spoke to him, and said that not
only should a son be born to him, but his people
should in time be more in number than the
starry host above him. The good man wondered
how this could be, and yet he believed and never
doubted.

“Tt is the voice of God,” he said; and he lifted
his hands towards heaven, and worshiped.

And the voice said, “ Men shall henceforth call
your name Abraham; for that is a word which
means Father of a Multitude, and a father of
nations you shall be.”

Ill. THE STRANGERS.

The summer that the Chief was ninety-nine years
old, a strange and dreadful thing happened.
32

One hot day he was sitting in the shade of his
tent, looking out over the plain towards the city
where his nephew Lot was living. All at once he
saw three noble strangers standing by the tent
door; and, as they seemed to be travelers from some
distant land, he ran to meet and greet them, as was
the custom of the time. He bowed himself down
before one of them who seemed to be the leader,
and said, —

“Pray do not pass by without resting a little
while. Come and sit down under this tree, and I
will have water brought that you may wash your
feet. And then you shall eat a little and refresh
yourselves before you pass on.”

“You speak well,” said the strangers. “Let it
be as you have said.” And they sat down under
the tree, as they were bidden.

Then the Chief ran into the women’s tent and
said to his wife, “ Be quick, and knead three meas-
ures of fine meal, and make it into cakes, and bake
them on the hearth; for three strangers are wait-
ing under the tree before the door.”

Then he ran into the field and fetched the finest
calf from the herd, and gave it to one of his young
men to kill and roast for his strange guests. And
when it was ready, he took butter and milk and the
hot cakes and the choicest parts of the meat, and set
33

the food before the strangers who were waiting
under the tree.

« Surely,” he whispered to his wife, “these are not
common men; for never have I seen any that were
so stately and noble. Their leader must be the
Lord himself, and his two companions are none
other than angels.” And then he hastened back to
wait upon them while they ate.

-«“ Where is your wife?” asked one of the stran-
gers, looking around.

«“ Behold, she is in her tent,” said the Chief.

The Princess was at that moment standing inside
the door. Ninety years old though she was, she
was as fair and lovely as when the Chief had wooed
her in her girlhood in the valley of the Euphrates,
more than seventy summers before. When the
strangers saw her blushing among the curtains of
the tent, they told the Chief that the son whom
he had waited for so long would be born that very
year. The Princess overheard what they said, and
she laughed, because she did not believe that it
could be so. But her husband, the Chief, said, —

“Tt is the voice of God, and it must be true.”

At last the strangers arose, and started to go on
their way; and the Chief took his staff in his hand
and walked across the fields with them. When they
reached the top of the hill and looked towards the

STO. OF THE EAST—3
34

east, they saw the fair cities of Sodom and Gomor.
rah lying in the midst of the rich plain far below
them; and around the cities were orchards and
vineyards, and fields of ripening grain, and broad
pasture lands where thousands of cattle were
feeding.

“ Behold these cities, how beautiful they are!” said
the Chief.

‘And yet,” said the strangers, “they are so wicked
that God will destroy them this very night. We are
even now on our way to see if there is any good
thing in them at all.”

“Oh, say not so!” cried the Chief, much grieved
at the thought. “Surely, God will not let the inno-
cent perish in order that he may punish the doers
of evil.”

Then, while the men walked on down the hill, he

‘lifted up his hands, and prayed God to spare the
cities of the plain.

“ Suppose there are fifty good men in the place,
wilt thou not spare it, O Lord?” he said.

And the Lord said, “Yes; if I find fifty righteous
men in Sodom, I will spare the whole city for their
sake.”

“Suppose there shall lack five of being fifty, wilt
thou destroy the place for lack of five?” said the
Chief.
35

And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it if I find
forty-five.”

- “Suppose forty good men should be found,” said
the Chief.

And the Lord said, “I will spare it for the sake
of forty.”

“Oh, have patience with me, and do not be
angry!” said the Chief; ‘“‘ but suppose there should
be thirty?”

And the Lord said, “I will not destroy the place
if thirty good men are there.”

“Nor if there are twenty?” said the Chief.

“For the sake of the twenty, I will spare it,” was
the answer.

“Oh, have patience once more!” said the Chief;
“but suppose there are only ten good men among
so many?”

And the Lord said, “I will spare them all, that so
the ten shall not perish.”

Then the Chief turned about, and walked thought-
fully back to his tents. But when the strangers
went down into Sodom, they found only one good
man in all the city, and that was Lot, the nephew
of Abraham. So, after they had warned him and
made him hasten out of danger, there came a
great storm of fire and hail; and the cities were
burned, and the people of the plains destroyed; and
36

the beautiful valley was filled with salt water, and
became the place of a sea, that is called the Dead
Sea even to this day.

And when Chief Abraham arose in the morning
and looked towards the east, he saw the smoke of
the country going up as the smoke of a furnace;
and. he knew that the cities of the plain were’ no
more.

IV. THE BURNT OFFERING.

When Chief Abraham was a hundred years old
and his wife ninety-one, the thing came true that
had been so often promised, and a son was born to
them; and they named the boy Laughter, because
his mother had laughed at-the thought of such old
people having a child. And there was great joy in
the tents of the Chief, because now there was an
heir who after a while would be the owner of the
flocks and herds, and silver and gold, which the old
man had brought together; and a great feast was
made, to which even the kings of the land were in-
vited, —a feast the memory of which has been kept
in mind even to our own day.

And the child grew, and became a fine lad, hand-
some and quick and strong; and his father, rich
though he was, loved and prized him more highly
than all his wealth. One day the thought came
37

into Chief Abraham’s mind that God had given
him everything, and therefore he ought to show his
gratitude by offering his most precious possession
to God. But what was his most precious posses-
sion? Was it not the boy Laughter? And could
he give him up? Yes, he would do anything to
obey the call of duty.

In those times people thought there was only one
way of giving anything to God, and that was to lay
it on an altar, and, after it had been slain, to set fire
to the wood beneath it and burn it to ashes. They
thought, that, as the flames seized upon and removed
it from sight, God took it to himself.

So, when Chief Abraham had become fully per-
suaded of his duty, he made up his mind to offer
the boy Laughter to God. One morning very early
he saddled a donkey, and took with him the boy
and two servants, and set out for a mountain, three
days’ journey away, where he had before offered
sacrifices to God. When they came to the foot
of the mountain, he said to his men, —

“Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad
will go up alone.”

Then he put a bundle of wood for the altar upon
Laughter’s shoulders, and took the long knife in
one hand and a fagot of fire in the other; and the
two began to climb the mountain together.
38

By and by the lad said, “ My father!”

“ What is it, my son?” said Chief Abraham.

“ Here is the wood, and there is the fire,” said
the lad; “but where is the lamb for the offer-
iIngeh” ;

‘My son,” said the old man, “God will provide
a lamb for the offering.”

And the two went on together.

When they came to the top of the mountain,
they built an altar of stones, and laid the wood upon
it. And the Chief bound his son with cords, and
laid him upon the wood on the altar. And he
stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay
the lad. But while his hand was still raised, he
heard a voice that seemed to come out of the sky,
calling him by name.

“Here I am,” he answered, without looking up.

“Touch not the lad,” said the voice. “Now,
indeed, is it clear that you fear the Lord; for you
have not withheld your son, your only son, from
him.” :

And then the Chief lifted his eyes, and saw, close
by, a ram caught by’ the horns in the bushes. And
he quickly loosed Laughter from the cords that
_ bound him, and then laid the ram on the wood in
his place. And when they had slain the ram,
and burnt it as an offering, the two went down
39

the mountain together, rejoicing. And after that,
Abraham pitched his tents by the wells of Beer-
sheba, far to the south, -near the borders of the
great sandy desert. And there they dwelt many
years.

V. THE FAITHFUL SERVANT.

One morning in early summer Chief Abraham
sat in the door of his tent, and talked with his head
servant, who had the care of all his goods, and
managed all his business. He talked of his old
home, where he had lived as a child and as a young
man, in the far-away valley of the river Euphrates.
He talked of his kinsfolk, who were still in that
eastern country, and whom he had not seen for
now almost fifty years. He talked of his own
wandering life, and of the land flowing with milk
and honey which God had promised to give to his
~ children and his children’s children, to hold as
their own forever.

“ And now,” he said, “here is my son Laughter,
who was born in this new western land. He has
never seen his father’s kindred, nor visited his
father’s native place. He is now a man, and he
ought before long to take to himself a wife; for lam
a hundred and twenty-five years old, and soon my
wealth will be his. But I cannot bear to have him
40

wed any of the rude maidens of this barbarous land.
Not one of them is worthy to be his wife.”

“But, my master,” said the servant, “some of
them are very beautiful, and they are the daughters
of kings. How can we do better than choose one
of them for the young man?”

“TJ will tell you,” said the Chief: ‘We will find
a wife for him among the daughters of my kinsmen
in the valley of the great river where I lived in my
youth. You shall get ready at once, and go and
choose one for him, and bring her hither.”

“But what if the maiden will not come?” said
the servant. “Wouldn’t it be better for Laughter
to go with me, and choose for himself? For no
maiden can well refuse when she sees -how comely
and fair the young man is.”

“Not so!” cried the Chief. “My son shall not
go with you. He might be tempted to make his
home in that country where life is easy. But he
must stay here; for all these rich plains and wooded
hills, as far as you can see from yonder mountain
top, are to be his and his children’s forever. The
God whom I worship has promised it. No, you
shall not take him with you.”

“But how shall I find the way?” asked the
servant. “The country is far distant, and there
are no roads thither.”
4l

“The good angels will go before you, and show
you the way,” said the Chief.

“ And then, if no maiden will come back with me,
what shall I do?” said the servant.

“Then you shall return, and you will be free from
blame,” said the Chief. “But do you make ready
and start upon your journey this very day.”

Then the servant chose ten of his master’s best
camels, and loaded some of them with food for the
long journey, and some of them with rich gifts of
gold and silver and perfumes and beautiful gar-
ments; and while it was yet morning, he set out
across the great plains towards the distant valley of
the river Euphrates. And acompany of his master’s
trustiest men went with him as guards and helpers.

Much of the way was across broad, trackless
plains, and among rocky hills, where there was no
road nor other pathway ; much of the way was over
a barren, sandy desert, where the sun shone hot and
no living thing could be seen. And it was many
weary days before the servant, with his little com-
pany, reached the green valleys, and knew that they
were in the country of his master’s kindred. Late
one afternoon he came to a little city, and stopped
outside of the walls by a well of water. It was about
the time of day when the women of the place liked
to come out with their pitchers and draw water for
42

use in the household. The servant made his camels
lie down about the well; and then he prayed that
the God whom his master worshiped would speed
the day, and show kindness to him, and give him a
sign, that so his tiresome journey might be at an
end. =
“ Behold,” he said, “I stand here by the well of
water, and the maidens of the city.come out to fill
their pitchers. I will say to the fairest among them,
‘Let me drink a little water of thy pitcher;’ and if
one of them shall say, ‘Drink, and I will give your
camels drink also, let that be a sign that she is the
maiden whom I shall choose for Laughter. In that
way I shall know that kindness is shown to my
master.”

While he was yet speaking, a fair young girl came
tripping down from the city gate with her pitcher
on her shoulder. As she came nearer, the servant
thought that he had never seen any one so beauti-
ful. And she went down the stone steps into the
well, and came up with her pitcher dripping. And
the servant ran to meet her, and said, — ;

“Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy
pitcher!”

And she let down the pitcher upon her hand,
and said, “ Drink, my lord!” And when he had
drunk as muchas he wanted, she said kindly, “ Now








“c
Ler mE, I PRAY THEE, DRINK A LITTLE WATER!”

(43)
44

I will draw water for your camels, and let them
drink also.”

And she ran and emptied her pitcher into the
trough, and hastened back to the well to draw
more water. And the man stood and watched her,
and wondered if indeed the good angels had shown
him the way, and the God of his master had been
kind to him; for the maiden was so beautiful, and
withal so kind, that he could not think of choosing
any one else to be young Laughter’s wife.

When the camels had done drinking, and the girl
had filled her pitcher again with clear, cool water to
carry home, he gave her a golden earring of great
beauty, and two golden bracelets for her wrists. A
shrewd man he was, and he knew right well what
would delight the maiden’s heart. Then he asked
her whose daughter she was, and whether there was
room in her father’s house for him to lodge there.
She told him both her father’s name and her grand-
father’s, and said, —

“ There is room enough in our house for you, and
for all the men that are with you; and we have
plenty of straw and food for your camels.”

The servant bowed down, and thanked the God of
his master for the kindness that had been shown
him ; for the name of the maiden’s grandfather was
that of Chief Abraham’s own brother, whom he
45

had left behind him when he went to the new
western country so long ago, and the servant
knew that he had found his master’s kindred.

VI. BEAUTY AND LAUGHTER.

The young girl hastily took up her pitcher again,
and then, carrying it on her shoulder, ran home to
her mother’s house in the city. She wanted to
show her mother and her brother the pretty earring
and the bracelets that the stranger had given her.
She hurriedly told them all that had happened to
her at the well; and the whole family crowded
around her to see the beautiful gifts. And when
she had finished her story, her brother ran out to
the well to find the stranger, and lead him to the
house.

“Come in, come in!” he said. “Why do you
wait outside the walls? Our house is all ready
for you, and we have plenty of food and shelter
for the camels.”

Then the servant went with him to the house;
and they took off the packs from the camels’ backs,
and gave them straw and food. And the brother
had water brought for the servant and the men
who were with him to wash their feet.

“ Now come in and eat supper with us,” he said.
46

“T will not eat until I have told my errand,” said
the servant.

“ Tell it,” said the maiden’s mother, “and we will
eat afterwards.” .

Then the servant told them who his master was,
and how rich and great he had become in the new
western country where he had gone fifty years
before. And he told them about the young man
whom they called Laughter, and who was to have
all his master’s wealth; and how there was no
maiden in all the western land who was good
enough to be the young man’s wife; and how the
great Chief had now sent his servant to this his
fatherland to find a wife for Laughter among the
fair daughters of his own kindred. :

“And I came this day unto the well,” he said,
“and I asked there for a sign; and before I had
done asking, the sign came true. This fair maiden
came out of the city with her pitcher on her
shoulder; and she went down into the well, and
drew water; and I said, ‘ Let me drink, I pray thee!’
And she made haste and let down her pitcher from
her shoulder, and said, ‘ Drink, and I will give thy
camels drink also!’ So I drank, and she made
the camels drink. And I said, ‘Whose daughter
are you, my fair maiden?’ And she told me her
father’s name, and her grandfather’s. And I knew
47

that the God of my master had prospered me, and
had led me in the right way to take the grand-
daughter of my master’s brother to his son
Laughter. Now, I have told you my errand,
and you know why I am here. Tell me if you
will deal kindly with my master, your kinsman;
for if not, I will go my way, and trouble you no
more.”

And the girl’s brother and her mother said,
“ This thing has been ordered by the God of your
master, and we have no right to speak either good
or bad about it. Here is the maiden herself, — the
maiden so rightfully called Beauty. Take her, and
go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son,
as your master’s God has ordered.”

When the servant heard this, he bowed himself
to the ground, and gave thanks. Then he
brought rare jewels of silver and gold, and rich
garments of linen and silk, and gave them to
Beauty, and to her mother and her brother. And
there was a great feast in the house that night,
and the wonderful news was told throughout the
city; and Beauty, clad like a princess, was more
beautiful than any other maiden that had ever been
seen in the green valleys of the Euphrates.

In the morning the servant arose with his men,
and said,—
es

“Let me go back now to my master.”

But Beauty’s mother begged him to let the
maiden stay with her a few days longer, at least
ten. |

“My master’s God has prospered me,” said the
servant; “and so I beg that you will not hinder,
' but let us go at once.”

“Well,” said the mother, “we will call the
damsel, and ask her.”

They called Beauty, and said, “Beauty, will
you go with this man to-day?”

And she said, “ Yes, I will go.”

So, while they all wept, they blessed her, and
bade her Godspeed.

“Thou art our fair sister, so well beloved,” they
said. ‘In the ages to come, may thousands of
millions of people remember thee and think of
thee as their mother, and may thy children and
thy children’s children wax great in the earth, and
rule over all their enemies.”

And Beauty and her nurse and her waiting
women rode upon the camels, and followed the
servant and his men across the barren desert and
the broad green plains to the rich new country
in the distant West.

At the end of many days they came into a land
where there were great herds of cattle, and flocks
49

of sheep, and droves of camels; and the servant told
her that all these were only a part of the riches of
his master. And it so happened that Laughter was
walking in the fields in the cool of the evening, and
thinking of many things, but most of his father’s
kindred in the far East, and of the servant who had
been sent thither to find him a wife. Suddenly, on
looking up, he saw the ten camels coming across
the plain. They were quite near to him, and he
could see that there were women riding. He won-
dered what kind of wife his father’s servant had
brought him; but he could not see her face for the
heavy veil that was over it.

For when Beauty first saw Laughter walking in
the fields, she had asked the servant, “ What man
is that who is walking this way?” for she was
pleased to see how noble and handsome he seemed.

“ That is my young master,” answered the servant.

Then Beauty was glad, and she covered herself
with her veil. And when she met Laughter, she
alighted from her camel, and Laughter led her to
his mother’s tent, where they were wedded; and
when she lifted the veil from her blushing face, and
he saw how wonderfully fair she was, he was very
glad, and he loved her. And Beauty and Laughter
lived long and happily together in their own tent
in the midst of the green plains. And their father,

STO. OF THE EAST— 4
50

Chief Abraham, lived yet fifty years, and died at the
good old age of one hundred and seventy-five.

. And Laughter and Beauty had two sons, both of
whom became men of renown. One of them lived
the life of a roving chieftain in the land that borders
the great Arabian desert. His name was Esau,
‘but he was often called Edom, or the Red, on ac-
count of his ruddy complexion and the color of his
hair; and he gave his name to the narrow sea that
lies between Arabia and the Land of the Nile. The
other son of Laughter and Beauty was a shrewd
man, always skillful in trade, and sure to get the
better of every bargain. After deceiving his father
and greatly wronging his brother, he fled, while still
quite young, to his mother’s people in the little city
by the Euphrates, There he married; and there,
by his energy as well as by his craftiness, he became
very rich in sheep and cattle and camels and silver.
Afterwards, when he heard that his father was still
alive, and ready to forgive him, he returned with his
family and his servants, and his flocks and herds, to
the western land where he had been born. There
he was reconciled with his brother, and there he
won by his uprightness and valor the noble name of
Israel, which in his own language meant the Prince.

In that same language the word for laughter was

Isaac, and the word for beauty was Rebecca.


THE MASTER OF THE LAND OF THE NILE.

I. THE DREAMER.

TueErE dwelt in Hebron, at the foot of one of the
grass-covered hills, a rich man, who had gained a
part of his wealth by his shrewdness in trade and
by dealing unfairly with his brother. In his
younger days people had called him Supplanter
(or, in their own language, Jacob), because of his
grasping nature, which seemed to have belonged to
him even from his birth. Later in life, however,
he had become a much better man, and, because’
of his uprightness and valor, he had gained for him-
self the title of the Prince (or, in his own tongue,
Israel). When, in his old age, he settled at Hebron, °
he was, as I have said, very rich. He had hundreds
and hundreds of sheep and cattle, besides droves of
camels and donkeys; and he had twelve sons.

Ten of his sons were grown-up men, bearded and
tall and strong; but the youngest was a little babe,
and the next to the youngest was a slender lad still

51
52.

in his teens. The Prince loved this lad more than
all the rest of his children, perhaps because he was
gentle and wise, perhaps because he was the son of
his favorite wife, and had been born to him in his
old age. The older brothers said that the lad was
their father’s pet, and they began to hate him, and
seldom spoke kindly to him.

“What do you think I dreamed last night? y
said the lad one day when they were all in the
field together.

“ How do we know?” they said. “ Why should
we care anything for your silly dreams?”

Well, I had a very strange dream,” he said.
“T dreamed that we were in the harvest field, and
that each one of us had bound up a sheaf of grain.
Then my sheaf stood up in its place, and every one
of your sheaves bowed and fell down to the ground
before it.”

“What do you mean?” said his brothers. “Do
you mean to say that we shall all bow down to you
‘ some time? We'll see about that.” —

The next day, when the Prince and his sons were
sitting in the shade of the tent, the lad said, —

“T had another dream last night.”

“You'd better not tell it,” said the eldest brother.

“But I will tell it,” said the lad. “I dreamed
that I was a bright star in the sky, and that the sun
53

and the moon and eleven stars bowed down and
fell on their faces before me.”

“Worse and worse!” cried the young men.
“Yesterday you had your brothers falling in the
dust at your feet. Now you want to make believe
that your father and mother will also humble them-
selves before you.”

“T did not say so,” said the lad.

“But you meant it,” said they. “Who is the sun
if it is not our father? and who is the moon if it is
not our mother? and who are the eleven stars of
your dream if they are not your brothers?”

“T never thought of my dream in that way,” said
the lad. ;

But his brothers were all very angry; and his
father for the first time in his life scolded him
sharply. The lad burst into tears, and ran to hide
himself behind the curtains of the tent.

After that the young men hated him all the
more, and they nicknamed him the Dreamer. But
his father the Prince seemed to love him even
better than before.

Il. THE JOURNEY.

That summer there was but little rain, and the
ground was so dry that the grass could not grow.
The fields were no longer green, and the beautiful
54

hills of Hebron were brown and bare as a desert.
There was not enough pasture there to keep the
herds and flocks alive.

At last the Prince sent his servants away with
the cattle to find some greener spot in the river
valleys far to the north. As for the poor sheep
and lambs, the ten sons undertook to drive them to _
the plains of Shechem, fifty miles away. They had
spent a summer at Shechem once before, and had
done some wild and wicked deeds there. They
had even destroyed the little town that stood in
the midst of the fields, and had killed some of the
people; and they knew that now the place was
deserted, and that no one would dispute their right
to pasture their flocks there. They remembered
that there were many springs of water in the fields,
and they felt sure that they would find plenty of
grass. = :

After the men had gone away with the sheep
and cattle, it was very lonely in Hebron. Day after
day passed by, and it was always the same, — the
camels and donkeys browsing among the thistles
and shrubs on the hillsides, the women at work in
the tents, the children playing the same games in
the dust and sand, and the hot sun hanging high
in the sky. Once a caravan, or company of mer-
chants, passed by, with a long line of camels and
55

armed men, carrying goods of all kinds, cloths and
spices and gold, from the far East down into the
rich country of the Nile. Ah, what a great event
that was! Everybody went out to see the wonder-
ful caravan and the wonderful things that were
with it; and the Prince bought many handsome
and curious things for his wives and their servants
and the children. .

But after that, the place seemed lonelier than
before, and still no word came from the ten men
who had gone down to the fields of Shechem.

One day the Prince said to the lad, —

“T wonder how the boys are getting along with
the sheep, and whether they found the pastures as
green and fresh as they expected! I wish I had
a trusty man that I could spare. I would send him
down to Shechem to find your brothers, and seé
whether all is well with them.”

“Let me go, father!” said the boy.

“What!” cried the old man. “Do you think that
I would send you on an errand so far, and alone?
You are only a boy, and you do not know what dan-
gers you might meet with betweén here and She-
chem. Wild beasts roam in the woods and among
the hills, and Arab robbers ride over the plains.”

“Surely you don’t think I am afraid!” said the
lad. “Haven't you often told me of the long
56

journey which you made when you were a boy no
older than I am,— how you went all alone across
the great plains to the far-off land of the Euphrates?
And do you think that I ought to be afraid to take ©
this little trip down to Shechem? ”

“T know you are not afraid,” said his father, “and
I do you a wrong to be afraid for you. So get
yourself ready, and set out this very day. See
whether your brothers are well, and whether the
sheep have found good pasture, and then come
home and tell me.”

It did not take the boy long to get ready for the
journey. All that he needed to carry was a little
leathern pouch with food in it for three days, a
leathern bottle full of water, and a pair of light san-
dals, which he would slip on his feet when he had
to cross rough and stony places among the hills.

‘“You may leave your old cloak,” said his father.

“This is your birthday, and I have a present for
you.”
_ Then he opened a chest and took. from it the
most beautiful coat that the boy had ever seen.
The Prince had bought it of one of the merchants
_ who had passed with the caravan; and it had been
woven in a strange land in the far-distant East.

“O father!” cried the boy. “Is the pretty coat
forme? And may I wear it to Shechem?”
57

“Certainly it is for you,” said his father; and he
threw the rich garment upon the boy’s shoulders,
and fastened it at the neck with a silver clasp. It
‘ was richly woven of silk and linen, with threads of
crimson and purple and gold running through it
from top to bottom. At the waist it was held in
by a belt of finest leather buckled with a silver
buckle; and the soft, many-colored folds fell almost
to the boy’s knees.

“© father, how beautiful it is, and how kind you
are!” he said, and the tears came into his eyes for
joy. o%

Then he kissed his father and his baby brother,
and waved a good-by to the women and children
who had come out of the tents to admire his coat
and see him start on his journey. His mother was
not among them. . She had died a year before, and
her grave was by the roadside in lonely Ephrath,
far over the hills to the north.

“Do not fear for me, father,” he said;. and he
walked briskly away across the brown and barren
fields. d

“May the God of my father and of my father’s
father bless thee and keep thee!” said the Prince ;
and he stood and watched the boy until he had
passed over the ridge of a distant hill and could
be seen no more.
58

Ill. THE DRY WELL.

It was a long and hard journey over the hills
and across the lonely plains. On the third day,
about noon, the lad reached the place where he
expected to find his brothers. There were the
springs of running water and the fields which he
well knew, and on the hillock in their midst were
the ruins of the little town of Shechem; but the
place was deserted and bare, although there were
plenty of signs that there had been sheep and shep-
herds there. .

He ran from one field to another, looking and
calling; but no one answered him, and there was
not a man to be seen anywhere. At last, footsore
and tired and hungry, he sat down on a stone and
wondered what he should do next. He could not
think of going back home and telling his father that
his brothers and the sheep were nowhere to be found.
While he was sitting there, a man came out from
among the ruins on the hilltop and called to him.

“What do you want here, my lad?” he said.

“T have come to find my brothers and the sheep,”
he answered; “for my father is troubled about them,
and wants very much to learn how they are getting
on.”

Then the man told him that the ten brothers, who
59

called themselves the sons of the Prince, had been
around Shechem nearly all summer, but that they
had gone away only three days before, to look for
fresh pastures for their sheep.

“T think they must have gone over the hills to
Dothan,” said the man; “for I heard them say to
one another, ‘ Let us go up to Dothan;’ and I know
the grass is better there than here.”

The lad had never been to Dothan, but the man
told him it was not far, and showed him the shortest
and best way to go; and when he had eaten his
last crumb of bread, and filled his bottle with cool
water from one of the springs, he went on over the
hills as fast as his tired feet would carry him.

Late that afternoon the ten brothers were loung-
‘ing among the grass on the top of a little knoll,
and watching their sheep which were feeding in
. the fields below. Suddenly one of them, who was
called Troop, and who was sharper-sighted than |
the rest, sprang to his feet.

“Who is that coming up the road from She-
chem ?” he cried.

The other men jumped up quickly, and fidltea
towards the place which Troop pointed out. Far
away across the fields they could see some one
coming. They watched him as he drew nearer and
nearer.
60

“He walks as if in great haste,” said the eldest
of the ten, shading his eyes with his hands. “ He
is some poor fellow who has lost his way, and is
coming to us for help.”

“Poor fellow, indeed!” said Troop. “He is
some rich merchant’s son who has strayed from a
caravan; for only see what a fine cloak he wears!”

“ Yes,” said a tall, lank fellow whom they called
Judge. “That cloak is worth more than a hundred
sheep, and I mean to have it for my own.” He
grasped his sheephook in his hands, and was half- —
way down the hill when his brothers called to him.

“Stay!” they cried. “It is nobody but our wise
brother, the Dreamer.”

“What! father’s pet?” said Judge; and he went
slowly back.

By this time the boy could be plainly seen
making his way across the fields, and waving his
hand to his brothers by way of greeting.

“Only see that fine coat, how it gleams and
sparkles in the rays of the sun!” said Troop.

“Father must have paid a goodly sum for that
rich garment,” said another of the brothers.

“Yes,” said Judge, “ and we who take care of the
sheep have hardly a coat to our backs.”

“The young fellow will set himself up for king
now, without doubt,” said the youngest of the ten.

1”
61

“ Get yourselves ready, boys, to fall on your knees
before him as soon as he comes to the foot of the
hill!”

“For my part,” said Troop, “I think we have
had enough of his dreams and his nonsense. I
wish something would happen to him before he
gets back to Hebron.”

“We might make something happen,” muttered
Judge. “Father would never know: he would
think that a lion had caught the boy while he
was crossing the hills.”

Then they talked together in low tones. But
the eldest of the ten said, “ Have a care, boys! If
we should hurt the lad, we could never look our
father in the face again. But we might put him
into the dry well down there, and leave him.”

This speech seemed to please the others; and
Troop ran down and lifted the flat stone that
covered the mouth of the well, and looked in. But
the eldest brother turned, and walked away.

It was not long until the boy was near enough to
make himself heard.

“ Hail, my brothers!” he cried. “Is it well with
you? I bring you our father’s blessing.”

But the nine rude fellows looked at him with
dark and scowling glances, and made no answer
to his kind greeting.
62

“Don’t you know me?” he said. “Don’t you ©
know your younger brother? I have come all.
the way from Hebron to see you; for father was
troubled about oH and wanted to know how you
are getting on.”

“You are no brother of ours,’ sai Judge. “We
never saw you before.”

“You are a spy from our enemies, the robber
Arabs,” said Troop. ‘You have come to see how
strong we are; and you will go back and tell your.
friends whether they can overcome us and drive
away our flocks. But you shall not escape us!”
And with that he threw a stone at the boy, while
the others ran down the hill, brandishing their
sheephooks, and crying out in a savage and threat-
ening manner.

“ Oh, my brothers, my brothers!” cried the lad,
stopping, and lifting up his hands.

They seized him rudely, and tore his beautiful
coat from his back, and snatched the sandals from
his feet. :

“ Away with the robber!” cried Judge.

“Yes, away with the spy!” cried the others; and
they pushed him roughly along towards the open
well. The boy covered his face with his hands, and
sobbed.

“Stand back! Don’t hurt the lad!” said one
63

of them, a big round-faced fellow whom his mother
called Judah, or Praise. “Leave him to me.” And
he lifted the boy by the arms, and let him gently
down into the well. It was not a deep well, and
he did not have far to drop; but its stone sides
were smooth and steep, and not even a squirrel
could have climbed out of it.

When the brothers saw what was done, they
turned away as if ashamed, and without saying
a word went after their sheep. But Judge staid
behind to put the flat stone back into its place,
and, as he peeped down into the well, he whis-
pered, — ; aa

“This is the way that we bow down before you,
Dreamer!”

Iv. THE CARAVAN.

That evening nine of the brothers sat in front
of their tent, eating their supper in silence. The
eldest was not with them. He had gone across the
fields to look for a lost lamb, and to think of some
plan to befriend his young brother. While they
were eating, a long line of camels and men was
seen coming across the plain. It was a caravan
of: traders journeying from the East towards the
country of the Nile. The sun had gone down, but
the moon was at its full; and in that country there
(+9)







SOLD HIM TO THE MERCHANTS FOR TWENTY PIECES OF SILVER.


65

was no pleasanter time to travel than in the cool of
the evening.

The brothers sat still and watched the caravan as
it came slowly towards them. The camels were
loaded with spices and myrrh and balm, and other
precious things; and, with the armed guard which
walked before them, there were a number of young
men who were being taken to the Nile country as
slaves.

“If we only had something to sell to those mer-
chants,” said Praise,“ we might make a good bar-
gain.”

“We might sell them a sheep or two for their
breakfast,” said Judge. .

“Tt seems to me,” said Praise, “that we have
done a very foolish thing. We have put the boy
into the well, where he will die, and not one of us
has made any money by it. Come, now, let us sell
him to these merchants, and save his life! We shall
then be rid of him, and at the same time make some ~
profit for ourselves.”

This speech pleased the brothers very much.
Judge ran and lifted the lad out of the well; and
Praise, who was good at making bargains, sold him
to the merchants for twenty pieces of silver.

“Two pieces for each of you, and four for me,”
he said.

STO. OF THE EAST— 5
66
“But how about our eldest brother, who is look-
ing for the lamb?” asked one.

“ There is no need for him to know what we have
done,” said Praise. :
By and by the eldest brother came back from his
search, and went at once to the well. He lifted the
stone and called to the boy, but there was no answer.
Then he lighted a torch, and held it so that he
could see to the bottom of the well. There was no
boy there. He dropped the stone back into: its
place, and ran towards the tents, tearing his clothes

into pieces as he went.

“The child is not!” he cried. “The child is
not, and what shall become of me?”

“Some evil spirit has stolen him away,” said
Judge, “and what shall we say to father?”

“Yes, what shall we say to father?” said Praise.

Then they took the boy’s coat which they had
torn from his back, and dipped it into the blood of
a kid which they had killed; and Praise, who was
the best talker among them, carried it to their father
in Hebron. ,

‘Here is something that we found in the hill
country on the other side of Shechem,” he said.

The old man looked at it, and knew at once that
it was the costly coat which he had given to his
best-loved child.
67

“Tt is my son’s coat!” he cried. “Some wild
beast has done this, and has devoured the child!”
And he tore his cloak into shreds in sign of grief,
and clothed himself in sackcloth, and sat down and
mourned for the boy many days. Then his sons
came home with their sheep, and they and all his
daughters tried to comfort him; but he would not
listen to them. “I will weep for the child until I
die,” he said. 7%

But as for the lad himself, the merchants took
him down into the country of the Nile; and he was
so bright-witted and quick, and withal so handsome
and obedient, that the captain of the King’s body-
guard was glad to buy him at a very high price.

“What is your name?” asked his master.

“My mother called me Joseph,” said the boy;
“but my brothers, who sold me to the merchants,
nicknamed me the Dreamer.”

Vv. THE PRISON.

Although he was a slave in a strange land, the
boy did not lose heart, nor did he spend any time
in grieving about things which could not be helped.
He made up his mind to do his best at all times,
no matter what might happen to him. And so, as
the years passed by and he grew up to manhood,
68

he proved himself to be so honest and wise, that
his master trusted him with everything that he
had, and at last made him the manager of all his
lands and houses and goods.

‘“My servant Joseph,” said the captain, “is the
best man of business in this country. I do not
need to think of anything; for he manages all,
and there is nothing which he undertakes that
does not prosper.”

But the time came when misfortune again befell
the young man. The captain’s wife, who was a
thoughtless, wicked woman, accused him of things
of which he was not guilty, and caused him to be
thrown into the King’s prison. Yet even then
he did not lose hope. He was so kind and wise
and trustworthy, that the jailer soon made him
his chief helper. All the other prisoners were
under his care, and nothing was done in the place
except as he ordered it. Yet he was not allowed
tc step outside of the prison doors.

It so happened that about. this time two men,
the King’s butler and the King’s baker, were shut
up in the jail for some fault or crime. Both of
them were very much troubled because of their
disgrace, and one night both of them dreamed
strange dreams. In the morning Joseph noticed
that they seemed very sad.
Se

“What is the matter,” he asked, “that on this
bright day your faces are so gloomy and down-
cast?”

“JT have dreamed a dream,” said the butler,
“and I do not know what it means.”

“Tell it to me,” said the young man, “and
perhaps I can explain its meaning.”

“In my dream,” said the butler, “I saw a vine
with three branches; and as I looked at it, it began
to bud and blossom, and soon it was full of ripe
grapes. Then I gathered the grapes, and pressed
the juice of them into the King’s cup, and carried
it to the King.”

“That is an easy dream to explain,” said Joseph.
“The three branches are three days; and in three |
days the King will set you free, and you shall be
his butler again, and carry his wine to him as you
have done before. But I pray you, when it is well
with you, do not forget me; for I am a slave,
and was stolen from my father in Hebron when
I was a boy, and I have done nothing that they
should keep me in this place.”

_Then the King’s baker said, “I, too, have
dreamed a dream, and I hope that it is as good
a dream as my friend the butler’s.”

“Tell it to me,” said Joseph.

“T dreamed,” said the baker, “that I had three
7O

white baskets on my head, and that in the upper
basket were all kinds of cakes and sweetmeats for
the King. But as I walked along, the birds flew
down from the trees and ate up all the sweetmeats,
and.I had none to carry to the King.”

Joseph shook his head, and said, —

“ That is also an easy dream to explain. The
three baskets are three days; and in three days
you shall be hanged on a tree, and the birds shall
fly down and eat the flesh from your body.”

Three days after that, all things happened as
the young man had foretold. It was the King’s '
birthday, and he made a great feast in his palace;
and he gave orders that the baker should be hanged
upon a tree, and that the butler should be set free
and given the place of honor which he had held
before. But the butler was so glad because of
his good fortune, that he did not think of what
Joseph had told him.

VI. THE DREAMS.

One morning about two years after that, the
King, or Pharaoh, as he was called by his own
people, awoke in great distress. He had had two
dreams in the night which troubled him very much,
and, do what he would, he could not put the thought
71

of them out of his mind. In those days, people
believed that all dreams had a meaning, and that
they foreboded something that was going to happen
in the time to come. All day long the King pon-
dered upon his two dreams, and he could take no
pleasure in anything. The next night he could
not sleep; but, whenever he closed his eyes, the
dreams came back to him.

On the second morning he sent for his wise
men, and said, —

“T have had two strange dreams, and they trou-
ble me greatly. In the first dream I thought I was
stariding ori the banks of the Nile, and looking at
the water as it flowed among the reeds. Then I
saw seven fat cattle come up out of the river; and
they went into the meadow, and fed upon the long
grass. But while I was looking at them, and think-
ing how beautiful they were, seven other cattle came
creeping out of the mud and mire of the river.
They were the leanest cattle that were ever seen,
and they were so weak that they could hardly stand.
But they clambered upon the bank; and, as soon
as they saw the fat cattle in the meadow, they ran
after them with wide-open mouths, and caught them,
and swallowed every one of them. It was a very
strange and impossible thing, and J cannot under-
stand how they could do it; and, stranger still, they
72

were not any fatter after this meal than they had
been before. But while I was looking at them,
I awoke.”

The wise men looked very grave, and shook
their heads.

“Tt was a strange vision, O King!” they said;
“but tell us now of your second dream.”

“The second was so nearly like the first,” said
the King, “that I am quite sure it means the same
thing. I dreamed that I stood on the bank of the
Nile again; and I was looking, not towards the river,
but at the great wheat fields where the grain was
almost ready for the reapers. Then I saw a tall
stalk of wheat that had grown up by my side, and
on it were seven ears of golden grain, the largest
and fairest that ever grew in any land. But while
I looked, seven other ears came out on the same
stalk. They were thin, blasted ears, with scarcely
a single good grain in them all; and when the east
wind blew upon them, they fell upon the fine, large
ears, and ate them up. And while I wondered how
such a thing could be, I awoke.”

The wise men looked very grave, and shook their
heads, and said nothing.

“T have now told you my dreams,” said the
King, “and it is for you to tell me what they
mean.” .
73

“O King!” they said, “these dreams seem very
hard to explain. Allow us, we pray you, to think
upon them ee! to-morrow, and then we will give
you an answer.’

But on the morrow they were as far from under-
standing the dreams as ever.

“ We cannot explain them,” they said.

Then the King’s butler said, “O King! I have in
mind now a thing that happened two years ago,
when I was in prison. Your baker and myself
were in prison at the same time, as you no doubt
remember, and we both’ dreamed dreams on the
same night. It so happened that we told our dreams
to the young man who was our keeper, — the same
man who once managed the estates of the captain
of your guard. He listened to us, and then ex-
plained the dreams; and everything came to pass
just as he told us it would,— I was allowed to come
back to my place, and the baker was hanged.”

“Go at once, and bring the young man to me,”
said the King.

The butler made haste and brought Joseph out
of the prison; and when the young man had taken
a bath and shaved himself, and put on his best
clothes, he was led before the King. The King
was pleased as soon as he saw him, he was so tall
and handsome, and his face was so bright and cheer-
74

ful. Among all the men in the land, there was not
another one whose looks were so noble.

“T have had two strange dreams,” he said, “and
the wisest men in my kingdom cannot explain them.
Iam told that you understand such things, and I
have sent for you to tell me what they mean.”

“The God of my father will help me to explain
them,” said Joseph; “but I myself know nothing
at all.”

When the King had told him his dreams, he stood
still for a moment, thinking. Then he said, —

“ Both dreams mean the same thing. The God
of my father has sent them to you, that you might
know the things which are about to happen in the
Land of the Nile. The seven fat cattle and the
seven big ears of wheat mean seven years of
plenty. The seven lean cattle and the seven
blasted ears of wheat mean seven years of famine.
The meaning of the dreams is this: there will be
seven years of great plenty in all the land; and after
that there will be seven years when nothing can
be raised, and during these years of famine all the
‘former plenty will be eaten up.”

“How soon will these things happen?” asked
the King.

“ The thing was shown to you in two dreams on
the same night, O King!” said the young man; ‘“‘and
75

that is a sign that the time is here now, and that
the years of plenty are about to begin. Now, if
some wise man could be found to take charge of the
matter, it would not be hard to provide against
the years of famine that will follow. Great gran-
aries might be built in all the cities, and the sur-
plus grain might be stored away for use in time of
need.”

Then the King turned to the officers who stood
around him, and said, ‘‘ The young man speaks well,
‘and there may be much truth in what he says. At
any rate, it will do no harm to store away the grain
during these years of plenty, and it will certainly
do great good if the years of dearth should ever
come. Tell me, now, which man in all my kingdom
is the most trustworthy, and the best fitted to man-
age this business.”

“Tf it please the King,” said one of the officers,
“the young man who once had charge of the estates
of the captain of your guard is the most honest and
the best manager in all our land. Never did any-
thing prosper as did the captain’s affairs while that
young man looked after them.”

“Let the young man be brought before me at
once,” said the King.

“He is already here, O King!” said the officer.
“Tt is he that has just now explained your dreams.”
76

Then the King turned to Joseph, and _ said,
“ Truly, I believe that there is no man in the world
so discreet and wise as you are, for I often heard
of you while you were the head servant of the cap-
tain of my guard. Your name is already known in
all parts of my kingdom. You shall manage this
business, and I will set you over all the land to rule
my people.”

And he took a ring from his hand and put it
upon Joseph’s finger, and hung a gold chain about
the young man’s neck, and gave him rich robes of
finest linen to put on.

“Why do men call you Joseph?” he asked; «for
- that is a word which means ‘ He shall add.”

“When I was born,” answered the young man,
“my dear mother said that I was a promise that the
God of my father would add more and more to her
happiness. But she lies now in her lonely grave by
the roadside in far-away Ephrath, and my father’s
three wives keep his tents.”

“ Enough, enough!” cried the King. “ And now,
if you have told me truly, and will manage this busi-
ness aright, you shall be given a new name. You
shall be called Zaphnath-paaneah, or the Master of
the Land.” And then, turning to the officers around
him, he said, “I am Pharaoh, I am the King; but
this man is Zaphnath-paaneah, and he shall stand
77

next to me in all things. His word shall be law,
and, without his leave, no man shall do anything at
all. Heis the Master of the Land of the Nile.”

VII. THE TEN STRANGERS,

In all the world there had never been such crops
as those that were raised during the next seven
years. There was so much wheat that the number
of bushels could not be counted; and all other
kinds of food were so plentiful that no one had
ever any need to be hungry. And during that
time of plenty no one was so busy as the Master
of the Land of the Nile. He was first in this city,
then in that, giving orders about the great grana-
ries that were being built, and seeing that they
were filled with grain. His word was law every- |
where; and no man dared to waste anything, but
all the food that was not needed was laid up in
storehouses against the time of need.

But when the seven years of plenty had passed,
the seven years of dearth began to come, and every-
thing was changed. The ground was so dry, and
the air was so hot, that nothing would grow. In
all the valley of the Nile there was nota stalk of
wheat nor a blade of green grass. In the lands
farther away, things were in even a worse plight:
78

for there the people had not laid up anything when
there was plenty; and so the flocks and herds died
for want of pasture, and thousands of men and
women and children perished because there was
no food. But in the country of the Nile the store-
houses were full, and the rich men of other lands
sent there to buy grain.

One day, when the Master of the Land was selling
wheat at one of the King’s granaries, ten rough-look-
ing strangers were brought before him. They were
sunburned and brown with traveling over the sandy
deserts, and they said that they had come a long
distance from the east. As soon as they saw the
Master of the Land, dressed in his robes of fine
linen, and -wearing the King’s gold chain about
his neck, they bowed themselves, and fell on their
faces before him.

“Who are you?” he said. “ Where do you come
from? What do you want?”

He spoke so harshly, that they trembled with
fear, and did not dare to look up. Then one of
them answered.

“OQ mighty Prince!” he said, “we are from
Hebron, a place many days’ journey from here;
and we have come to buy food for our families,
for in our own land there is nothing to eat.”

“Do not try to deceive me,” said the Master.
79

“I know who you are. You are spies; and you
have come to find out all that you can about us,
and then go and tell it to our enemies.”

“Oh, do not think such a thing of us!” they
cried; and they were filled with greater dread than
before, and did not know what to do. “We are
not spies, but honest men, and true, and we are
all brothers of one family.”

“Have you a father or a brother at home?”
asked the Master.

“ Truly, there were twelve of us,” was the answer;
“and our father, who is an old man, is at home with
the youngest brother, who is still a little child.
The other brother is dead; and this child is left
alone with our father, who loves him most dearly.”

Then the Master seemed to be more angry than
before. “You shall prove that you are not spies.
One of you shall go and fetch this child of whom
you tell me, and the other nine shall lie in jail
until he comes.”

“My lord!” cried the spokesman of the ten
strangers, “the lad cannot leave his father; for, if
we should fetch him away, his father would die.”

“Did I not say that you were spies?” said the
Master; and then, without waiting for another
word, he bade his officers lead the ten men away
to prison.
80

Three days after that, he had them brought be-
fore him again.

“JT have not the heart to treat you cruelly,” he
said. “If you are honest men, let one of you be
bound in prison; and do the rest of you go home
with food for the hungry ones who are there. Then
come again, and bring your little brother, and I will
believe you, and you shall not die.”

And he walked away, and hid his face, and wept.

Then the officers took one of the brothers and
bound him, and led him away to the prison. The
others were set free. They bought as much grain
as their donkeys could carry, and then started sadly
and silently on their long journey home. :

VIII. THE LITTLE BROTHER.

When the nine brothers reached Hebron, the
women and the children ran to meet them, and
the old Prince stood in the door of his tent to
welcome them home. But when they told how the
other brother had been left behind, sadness took
the place of joy.

“ Why did you leave him?” asked the Prince.

“The man who is the Master of the Land kept
him,” said Praise. “He spoke roughly to us, and
threw us into prison as spies. Then he set nine of
81

us free, but the tenth he kept bound. ‘Bring your
youngest brother to me, he said; ‘and then I will
know that you are not spies, and you may all go in
peace.’”

Then the Prince sat down in his tent and wept.
“ All the world is against me!” he cried. “ Two of
my sons are lost, and now you would take Benoni
away. But he shall not go with you; for his brother
is dead, and he is left alone. If. mischief should
befall him, then you will bring me down in sorrow
to the grave.” /

The men unloaded their donkeys, and began to
empty the grain which they had brought. But,
wonder of wonders! in each man’s sack was the
money which he had paid for the wheat. And
they were greatly troubled, and did not know what
to do; for would not the man who was the Master
of the Nile country accuse them of stealing it?

Days and weeks went by, and the famine grew
worse and worse. The grain which the brothers
had brought was almost gone.

“ Boys,” said their father, “ you will have to go
again and buy a little more grain.”

“Tt is no use, unless you will let Benoni go with
us,’ they answered; “for the man said that he
would not listen to us again unless we brought
him.

”

STO. OF THE EAST—6
82

But the old.man wept, and declared that he would
not part with the boy.

Then Praise asked him, “ Which is better, — that
all your children and grandchildren’ should perish
here with hunger, or that we take the risk with the
young lad? I will answer with my life that he shall
come back safe.”

At last the Prince agreed to let the child go.

“Carry a little present down to the man,” he
said. “We have not much that will please him;
but take him a little balm and a little honey, and
some spices and nuts, and carry back the money
that you found in your sacks. There must have
been some mistake about it. Then, when he sees
your little brother, it may be that the great man
will deal kindly with you.”

The brothers did as he told them, and, taking
their presents and the young lad with them, they
went down again into the Land of the Nile.

When the Master of the Land heard that they had
come, he ordered that they should be brought to his
own palace. This frightened them very much, for
they thought that now he would throw them into
prison or put them to death for carrying the money
home in their sacks. When they were led into the
room where he sat, they bowed very low before him,
and gave him the presents which their father had
83

sent; but how poor and little did these presents
seem in the midst of so much grandeur!

“Is your father well, the old man of whom you
told me?” asked the great man. “Is he still alive?”

“Our father is still alive, and he is well,” they
answered; and they again bowed themselves to the
ground.

Then the great man saw the young lad, his own
brother, standing trembling before him.

“Is this your younger brother, about whom you
told me?” he asked.

“This is he,” they answered.

“May the God of your father be ever kind to
you, my lad!” said he; and he turned away, and
went into his own room and wept.

IX. THE DISCOVERY.

That very afternoon the sons of the Prince made
ready to go back to Hebron. They were glad-
hearted now; for the man who was the Master of
the Land had been kind to them, and had believed
them, and had set free their brother who had been
in prison. They hastened to the storehouse, and
bought as much grain as their donkeys could
carry; and, as soon as it was light the next morn-
ing, they started.
84

But they were hardly outside of the city, when
they heard loud cries behind them; and, looking
back, they saw men on horseback riding rapidly
towards them. They stopped, and waited to see
what was wanted. The men rode up. One of them
was the head servant of the Master of the Land.

“What mean you by robbing my master of his
treasures ?” he cried.

“Oh, say not so, my lord!” said Praise, trembling.
“Did we not bring the money back that we found
_ in our sacks? How could we steal silver or gold
from your master? If any one of us has taken that
which is not his own, let him die, and the rest of
us will be your master’s slaves.” .

“What is it that we have stolen?” cried Judge.
“Search us, and see if we have anything of your
master’s.”

“That I will do,” said the head servant. . “ And
the one with whom it is found shall be my master’s
slave, but the rest of you shall go free.”

So they took the sacks from off the backs of the
donkeys, and every man opened his sack. Then
the head servant searched in each sack, beginning
with that of the eldest; and in the young lad’s sack
he found a silver cup of great price, which belonged
to the Master of the Land. When the brothers
saw this, they tore their cloaks in sign of grief and
85

dismay; and then every man loaded his donkey
again, and, without saying a word, followed the
head servant back into the city. They did not
know that the Master himself had caused the cup
to be hidden there.

The great man met them at his own door, and
spoke to them very harshly. “What is this you
have done?” he said. “Did you not know that
nothing can be hidden from me?”

“ We cannot excuse ourselves,” said Praise. “The
case is a clear one, and there is nothing to say.
We are your slaves, and so also is the lad who took
the cup.”

“Not so,” answered the Master. “The rest of
you shall go free; but the lad who had the cup,
he shall be my slave.”

Then Praise pleaded with the great man to spare
the boy. ;

“The lad is the joy and hope of our father,” he
said; “and the old man’s life is bound up in the
life of the child. If we should go home, and our
father see that the lad is not with us, he will die,
and we shall bring down his gray hairs in sorrow to
the grave. Now, I pray you, let me be your slave,
and let the lad go up to Hebron with his brothers!”

Then the great man could keep his secret no
longer. He ordered his officers to leave him alone
86

with the men from Hebron, and then he made
himself known. .

“JT am your brother,” he said. “I am Joseph,
whom you sold to the Arab merchants when I was
alad. Do not think I am angry with you, for it has
all happened for the best. The God of our father, he
brought it about in order to save life; for otherwise
we should all have perished in this great famine.”

Then he fell upon his little brother’s neck and
kissed him; and they both wept together for a long
time. After that, he kissed his older brothers, and
wept with them, and talked with them about the
wonderful things which had happened to him.

“ And now,’ said he, “ hasten back to the old home
in Hebron, and say to our father that his son Joseph
is still alive, and is the master of all the Land of the
Nile. Bid him come down to me at once, and say
that he shall live near me with his children, and his
children’s children, and his flocks and his herds;
and I will provide for you all.”

Then he gave fine coats to each of the men; but
to his young brother he gave five suits of the rich-
est clothing, and three hundred pieces of silver;
and to his father he sent twenty donkeys laden
with grain and bread and meat, and the good
things of the land. He sent also a great number
of wagons to bring him and the women and the
87

children down into the Land of the Nile. And
his brothers, with glad hearts, hastened to do all.
things as he directed.

When at last the aged Prince, with all his family,
came down into the country of the Nile, the King
allowed the Master to give his father and his broth-
ers homes in the best part of the land, where they
could dwell in peace, and care for their flocks and
herds. The King himself went out to meet the
Prince, and the Prince blessed him.

“ How old are you?” asked the King.

“The days of the years of my pilgrimage,”
answered the old man, “are a hundred and thirty
years. Few and evil have the days of the years
of my life been.”

And the Prince and his children, and his chil-
dren’s children, made themselves homes in that part
of the Land of the Nile which was called Goshen.




THE GREAT LAWGIVER.

I. THE KINGS DAUGHTER.

TueERE once lived in the Land of the Nile a
nation of bondmen.

These people had not always been slaves. They
said that the great ancestor from whom they were
all descended, had been a man of renown in his
day, and had won for himself the title of Israel, or
the Prince; and so they called themselves Israelites,
or the Children of the Prince. They liked to tell
of the time when the Prince had come down into the
country from a foreign land, and with his children,
and his children’s children, had settled in the fertile
valley of Goshen. And they proudly remembered
the fact that one of the Prince’s sons had been the
Master of the Land of the Nile, and second only to
the King; and they delighted to tell how this great
man had been wont to ride in his chariot from city
to city, and how all the people bowed the knee
before him, and made ‘/his word their law.

. 88
“89

But now four hundred years had passed since
. that glorious time, and many sad changes had come
to the Children of the Prince. Their lands had
been taken from them, they had been robbed of
their flocks and herds, and cruel laws had been
made in order to afflict them; and yet they had
seemed to prosper, and their numbers had grown
until there were tens of thousands of them in
Goshen. At last there came to the throne a
Pharaoh, or King, who had never heard of their
great ancestor, but whose heart was filled with
hatred towards them.

“What shall we do with the folk who call them-
selves the Children of the Prince?” he said. “If
we let them alone, they will soon outnumber us, and
will make themselves our masters. They are good
workmen and cunning traders, and it would be a
loss to the country to destroy them; and yet some-
thing must be done to hold them in check.”

And so laws were passed which made the Chil-
dren of the Prince a nation of slaves; and Pharaoh
sent their young men into the cities and towns to
work under taskmasters, and build walls and forts
and palaces of brick and stone. It was also ordered
that every boy baby that was born to any of these
people should be put to death. In this way the
cruel King hoped to put an end to their increase,
go

and at the same time strengthen his kingdom and
enrich himself.

One day, not long after this, it happened that the
King’s daughter went out with her maidens to bathe
in the river. As she was walking along the bank,
she saw something floating among the reeds in the
shallow water of the stream, and she sent one of her
maidens to get it. When it was brought to her, it
proved to be a light basket made of rushes woven
together, and daubed with pitch so as to make it
water-tight and strong. The King’s daughter opened
the lid of the basket, and looked in; and there she
saw a pretty babe, about three months old, lying on
a little cushion of leaves. When the child saw the
lady, he held out his hands towards her and cried;
and her kind heart was filled with pity, and she
bent over and kissed him.

“He must belong to one of the slaves who call
themselves Children of the Prince,” she said. “How
sad that so pretty a babe should perish! ”

While the King’s daughter and her maidens
were fondling the child, and trying to make him
cease his weeping, a little girl came timidly for-
ward, and listened to what they were saying.

‘‘ How I should like to keep him for my own!”
said the lady, as she took him from the basket
and held him lovingly in her arms.






AND THERE SHE SAW A PRETTY

(9x)
92

Then the little girl took courage, and spoke.

“Shall I go and find a woman to nurse the child
for you?” she asked.

“Yes, go,” said the lady.

Now, the little girl was none other than the
sister of the babe. Ever since the basket had
been set afloat among the reeds, she had been
standing by the river, watching, and hoping that
this very thing would happen; for, if the lady
would take pity on the child, his life might be
saved. She ran as fast as she could, and told her
mother all that the King’s daughter had said.»
Then her mother hastened with glad heart to the
riverside, where the King’s daughter and her maid-
ens were still fondling the child; for now he had.
ceased his crying, and was playing with the lady’s
necklace, and cooing softly to his new-found friends.

“Here is a woman who will nurse the child
for you,” said the little girl.

“Come, then,” said the lady to the child’s
mother, “come into my home and take care of
this babe for me, and I will pay you well.”

And so the babe was taken into the King’s
palace, and brought up by his own mother. He
was called the son of the King’s daughter; and
she gave him the name of Moses, which meant
that he had been drawn out of the water.
93

Il. THE SHEPHERD.

The child grew fast, and soon became a hand-
some lad, quick and strong, and full of promise.
He was treated in every way as though he were
really the grandson of the King. The wisest men
in the land were sought out to be his teachers,
and he became learned in all the lore of those
ancient times: for they taught him whatever
was known about the world and its people, and
about the laws and customs of the land; they
taught him how to be a brave. soldier, and how
to be a leader of men; they instructed him in
music and in magic, and in the science of the
stars; and they told him about the idols whom
the people ignorantly worshiped, and about the
great God, the ruler of all things. No young
man ever had brighter prospects than he; for it
was the wish, both of the King and of the King’s
daughter, that he should in the end become a
great ruler in the land, and that he should stand
next in power to the King himself. But his own
mother, the humble nurse who cared for him in
his childhood, had taught him something else. It
was she who told him of his kinsmen, and how
they had lived for now four hundred years in the
land, and how they had been robbed and oppressed
94

and enslaved, and how in every city and town
his brethren were being lashed and driven by
cruel taskmasters. And she told him about the
great ancestor of his people, the Prince, — how
he had come as a stranger and settled in the
valley of Goshen; and how before he died he had
told his sons that they should not always stay in
the Nile country, but that somewhere there was a
land flowing with milk and honey which the great
God whom they reverenced had promised to them
and their descendants as a heritage and a home
so long as the world should last. These words
sank deep into the heart of the lad, deeper by far
than all the lore he had learned from his teach-
ers; and the older he grew, the more he yearned
towards his kinsfolk, and the more he longed to
help them escape from their grievous burdens.

One day, after he had become a grown-up man,
Moses was walking in the fields where some of his
people were toiling; and in a lonely spot he saw one
of the King’s taskmasters beatinga man. He looked
this way and that, and, when he saw that no one
was near, he killed the taskmaster, and hid his body
in the sand. The next day he was walking near
the same place, and there he saw two of his own
people fighting.

“For shame!” he cried. “Why do you do so
95

wrong a thing as to quarrel with each other?”
And he ran and tried to part them.

“Who made you a judge over us?” said one of
the men. “Do you want to kill me as you killed
the taskmaster yesterday?”

When the young man heard this, he was fright-
ened.

“Surely the thing is known,” he said to himself;
“but how did any one find it out?”

Then, without saying another word, he turned,
and fled from the place. He knew that the laws of
the land were very strict, and that, if it should be
proven that he had killed the taskmaster, he would
be punished, perhaps with death. He dared not
stop even to say good-by to his friends. There
was no safety for him anywhere in the Land of the
Nile; and so he fled into the far wilderness country
where there were no cities, nor towns, nor settled
homes, but only wandering bands of Arabs and a
few keepers of sheep.

One afternoon he came to a well in the midst of
a grove of palm trees, and sat down in the shade to
rest. On the grassy plain not far away there were
many flocks of sheep feeding, and the tops of white
tents could be seen among the hills beyond. The -
young man was tired with his long wanderings, and
he was in no haste to leave a spot that seemed so
96

quiet and peaceful and safe. He had not been there
long, however, when he heard the tinkle of bells
and the sound of pleasant voices; and, peering out
from his place, he saw seven handsome young girls
driving a flock of sheep towards the well.

“ Make haste, sisters,” said one of them. “Draw
up the water quickly, and fill the troughs, that so
the sheep may drink before the men see us.”

Three of the maidens hurried with their pails to
draw the water, while the others urged the timid
flock to the troughs. But scarcely had the panting
sheep begun to drink, when loud shouts were heard
near by, and a half dozen rude shepherds came run-
ning to drive them away.

“Have we not told you to wait until we have
given our sheep drink?” they cried. “There is
hardly water enough for all.”

Then the young man Moses stood up and showed
himself, and drove the rude shepherds from the
well, and helped the maidens water their flock.

That evening the girls drove their sheep home
much earlier than was their wont.

“Why is it that you have come home so soon
to-day?” asked their father.

“A young stranger was at the well,” they an-
swered, “and he kept the shepherds away while our
sheep drank from the troughs.”
97

“ Yes,” said Zipporah, the youngest and handsom-
est of the seven, “and he also drew the water for us,
and watered the flock.”

“ And where is the stranger?” said their father.
“Why is it that you did not bring him home with
you? Make haste and call him, that he may eat
bread with us, and lodge for the night in our tent.”

The young man was glad to become the guest of
the good Arab, and he was in no haste to go farther.
Every day he helped the maidens drive their sheep
to the pasture, and every evening he sat in the tent
door, and listened to the wise talk of the old man
their father. Thus the time passed pleasantly away,
and at last he made up his mind to stay in that quiet,
peaceful place, and be a shepherd all the rest of his
life. And so he married the pretty Zipporah, and
kept the flock of her father, and lived in her father’s
tents, and cared no more for the riches and power
which might have been his in the Land of the
Nile.

II. THE BURNING BUSH.

Forty years passed by.

‘The Children of the Prince were still toiling under
their cruel taskmasters in the Land of the Nile;
and every day their burdens were made heavier, and
their bondage became more bitter. In their great

STO. OF THE EAST—7
98

distress they cried out, and prayed God that he
would send them help.

In the mean while Moses kept his father-in-law’s
sheep in the wild country of the Arabs. But he
had not forgotten his kinsfolk in the Land of the
Nile, and the memory of their troubles was always
in his mind. One day, as he was tending his flock
on the side of a mountain, he saw a strange vision.
A bush that stood close by seemed to catch fire,
and burn with a blaze that was brighter than the
sun, and yet it was not harmed in the least. While
he stood looking at it, and wondering, he saw an
angel in the flame, and heard a voice calling him
by name.

“ Here am I,” he answered.

“Come not any nearer, for this is holy ground, 2
said the voice.

Then Moses hid his face for fear, and stood still
and listened. And the voice told him how his kins-
folk were oppressed in the Land of the Nile, and
how they had cried to God for help. -

“Go down, therefore,” it said, “and free my
people from their bondage, and lead them forth
into the Land of Promise.”

But Moses said, “How can I do this thing?
How can I go before the King, and persuade him to
let the Children of the Prince go free? Iam slow
99

of speech, and cannot find words to say that which
I ought to say. Send some one else, I pray.”

The angel said, “ Go, and I will be with you, and
teach you what to say. And I will send your
brother Aaron to meet you, and go with you; for I.
know that he can speak well.”

So Moses left his flock with his father-in-law, and
started to go back to the Land of the Nile. But
while he was still in the wild country of the Arabs,
whom should he meet but his own brother Aaron.
He kissed him, and told him all that happened to
him, and how he had been bidden to go down and
free their people from bondage, and lead them forth
into the Promised Land.

Then the two brothers went down boldly into the
Land of the Nile, and told their people that they
had come to help them; and the people believed
them, and bowed their heads, and thanked God
that he had at last sent deliverance.

Not long after that, Moses and his brother went.
up and stood before the King, and asked him to
allow the Children of the Prince to go three days’
march into the wild country to make offerings there
to their God. But the King laughed at them in
scorn, and asked, —

‘““Who is your God? Why do you hinder the
people from their work?”
100

And he ordered the taskmasters to put more work
upon the poor slaves, and to whip them if they failed
in their tasks. This they did; and the slaves cried
out against Moses and Aaron, and said, “ If we had
not listened to you, we should not have had these
things to bear. You have made our burdens
heavier than before.”

Then Moses and Aaron went up again, and stood
before the King; and they carried with them the
rod or staff which Moses had used when he kept
his father-in-law’s sheep in the wild country.

“Who is your God?” again asked the King.
“Show me some wonderful thing that you can do
. through his help.”

Then Aaron threw the rod down upon the ground,
and it was turned into a great snake. But the King
was not alarmed at this.

“T have seen that trick before,” he said. And he
sent for his magicians, and told. them what Aaron
had done, and showed them the snake on the
ground. 1

“It is very easily done,” they said. And they
threw down their rods, and every one was turned
into a snake. But the snake that had sprung from
Aaron’s rod swallowed up all the others, and then
became a rod again.

“ Wonderful, wonderful!” cried the magicians.
IOI

“ Now will you let our people go?” asked Moses.
“No, I will not let them go,” said the King; and
he sent word to the taskmasters to have no pity for
their slaves, but to make their burdens still heavier.

IV. THE TEN PLAGUES.

The next morning Moses and Aaron went again
to speak to the King. They found him by the river-
side, where he had gone for his daily bath. And
Moses said to him,—

“O King! the God of my people has sent me to
ask you to let them go, that they may serve him in
the wild country beyond the Red Sea.”

“Who is your God?” asked the King. And he
bade them begone from his sight.

Then Aaron lifted the magic rod, and stretched
it out towards the river; and the water became red
like blood, and no one could drink of it, and all the
fishes in the river died. The King’s magicians tried
to do the same thing, and some of the water which
they touched with their rods was turned into blood.

Seven days passed by, and then Moses again
asked the King to let the people go. And
when the King refused, as before, Aaron stretched
the magic rod over the water of the Nile; and
frogs came up out of the river, and filled the
102

whole land, and hopped into the houses and palaces,
and there was no place that was free from them.
The magicians also stretched their rods over the
river, and more frogs came leaping out of the
water. :

This time the King was much troubled; and he
told Moses, that, if he would pray God to kill all
the frogs, he would do what he wished, and let the
people go. But when the frogs were all gone, the
King forgot his promise. Then Aaron stretched
out the rod again, and the land was filled with fleas
and other vermin, and both men and beasts were
covered with them. ;

“This is the finger of God,” said the magi-
cians. “There is no power in magic to do such
a thing.”

But the King was still stubborn, and would not
yield. And Moses brought up great swarms of flies,
that filled the houses, and lighted on everything in
the land; but in the valley of Goshen, where most
of the Children of the Prince lived, there were no
flies.

“Why cannot your people stay at home and offer
sacrifices to your God?” asked the King.

“Tt is not right that they should do so,” said
Moses. “They must go into the wild country, as
he has bidden them.”
103

“Then they may go,” said the King; “only rid
the land of these swarms of flies.”

But the next day, when the flies had all been
removed, the King again changed his mind, and
said —

“No, they shall not go. Let the taskmasters
‘give them still more work to do.”

Then Moses stretched out his hand, and a great
sickness broke out among the cattle and sheep, and
they died by the thousands all over the land. But
of the cattle and sheep that belonged to the Chil-
dren of the Prince there was not one that sickened,
or was troubled with the plague. |

“Will you let my kinsmen go now?” asked
Moses.

“No, they shall not go,” said the King.

Then the two brothers scattered ashes in the air;
and on the morrow boils and grievous sores broke
Gut on men and beasts, and even on the magicians
in the King’s palace. And when the King still re-
fused, they lifted their hands towards the sky, and
there was a great storm of hail, with lightning and
thunder, such as no man in that land had ever seen
before. The King was now greatly alarmed, and
he cried out, “I have sinned! Pray that the storm
may cease, and then your people may go whitherso-
ever they wish.” But when the storm had passed
104

by, and the sky was again clear and bright, he re-
called his promise.

Moses next threatened, that, if the people were
not allowed to go, he would bring locusts or grass-
hoppers into the land, that should fill the fields and
the houses, and eat up every green thing that had
not been destroyed by the hail. Then the wise
men of the land begged the King to keep his
word, and do as he had promised.

“Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord
their God,” they said.

“The men may go,” said the King, “but the
women and children shall not.” And he drove
Moses and Aaron out of the palace.

The very next day an east wind blew over the
land, and the air was filled with locusts, or grass-
hoppers, until the sun was hidden from sight, and
every green thing was eaten up. Then the King
in great distress cried out, —

“ Forgive my sin once more. Take all the people
of the Children of the Prince, and lead them out
into the wild country, as you have asked.”

And when Moses prayed, there came a strong.
west wind which carried the grasshoppers before
it, and cast them all into the Red Sea. But the
foolish King again broke his promise.

Then Moses lifted his hand towards the sky, and
105

for three days there was thick darkness all over
the land; only in the valley of Goshen, where the
Children of the Prince lived, there was light. And
the King was again frightened, and said to Moses
that the people might surely go this time, but
that they should leave all their flocks and herds
behind.

“No, indeed!” said Moses, “not a hoof shall they
leave behind.”

“Then begone and save yourself!” said the King
in great anger. “If you dare to come before me
again, you shall die!”

And Moses turned away from him, and said, —

“T will see your face no more.”

And then the tenth and last plague came.

It was in the early spring, and the moon was at
its full. At midnight the angel of death passed
over all the land, and in every house the eldest
child lay dead. Everywhere, in the King’s palace
as well as in the lowliest hut, there were shrieks of
distress and grief, and the air was filled with sounds
of mourning and despair. But it was not so in the
homes of the Children of the Prince. Moses had
told them to mark their doorposts with the blood
of a lamb, so that the death angel, as he passed,
might see it, and not enter there. And so they
were spared; while those who had enslaved them,
106

and treated them with so great harshness, were
afflicted with untold grief.

Then the King sent to Moses and Aaron, and
begged that they would lead their people out of
the Land of the Nile quickly.

“Take your flocks and your herds, as you have
said, and begone. And bless me also,” he said.

V. THE LONG JOURNEY.

Then Moses and Aaron gathered the people
together in haste, and they began their perilous
march out of the Land of the Nile. There were
more than half a million men and women, besides
children; and they took with them their flocks and
herds, and all the goods of every kind that they
could carry. But they were scarcely halfway to
the borders of the land, when they heard that the
King, with a great army and six hundred chariots,
was following after them. This news filled every
heart with fear; and many of them cried out
against Moses, and said, —

“Why did you not let us alone? It would have -
-been better to live as slaves than to be slain with
our wives and children here in the desert.”

But Moses led them on towards the east, and in
the evening they came to the shore of the Red Sea.
° 107

What now should they do, with the water before
them, and their old masters closé behind? It
seemed as though there could be no help for them
at all. But Moses lifted his magic staff, and a
strong wind came down from the east, and blew the
tide away; and, as the sea was quite shallow there,
the sandy bottom was soon laid bare. Then the
Children of the Prince, — men, women, and children,
—with their flocks and herds, marched boldly
across; and a pillar of fire went before them to show
them the way, but behind them was a dark pillar of
cloud, that hid them from the sight of their foes.
All night long they marched over the bared sands
of the shallow sea, and at daybreak every one stood
safe on the farther shore. Then, looking back, they
saw the King’s chariots and his armed horsemen
following not far behind; but the sand was soft, and
the wheels dragged heavily, and the horses’ feet sank
deep in the mire. And now the wind died away,
and the tide came rushing in, and the waves rose
high, and the King and his hosts were seen no
more. ‘The sea had swallowed them up.

Thus at last the Children of the Prince were
free: they were now on the borders of the great
wild country beyond which was the land flowing
with milk and honey, that had been promised to
their fathers for an inheritance. Then, while they


a
omy

MOSES LIFTED HIS MAGIC STA


109

rested by the shore of the sea, Moses made up a
song of victory, and of thanksgiving to God for
having thus brought them safely out of the land
of bondage. And all the men who were with
him, and had a voice for music, joined in singing it.

“T will sing unto the Lord,
For he hath triumphed gloriously.
The horse and his rider
Hath he thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and song,
And he is become my salvation.”

And then Miriam, the sister of Moses, took a
timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out
after her with timbrels and dances; and they
answered in chorus, —

“Sing ye to the Lord,
For he hath triumphed gloriously.
The horse and his rider
Hath he thrown into the sea.”

This was the way in which the Children of the
Prince began their long journey towards the
Promised Land. A long journey indeed it proved
to be, for they wandered hither and thither among
the mountains and in the desert for forty years;
not because the Promised Land was so far away,
but because they could not agree among themselves,
TIO

and were afraid of the people who already lived
there. When at last they came within sight of the
fair country which was to be their home, Moses
was very old, and the host that he led was like
the sands of the sea for number, for they could
not be counted. And yet among all that host
there were only two men who had been with him
in the Land of the Nile. A new generation had
grown up during the long wanderings, and the
babes who had crossed the Red Sea were now
middle-aged men and women.

“T shall see the Promised Land, but I shall -
not enter into it,” said Moses.

And he went up into a high mountain where
he could look down upon the fair country. Below
him lay the Dead Sea, where the wicked cities
of the plain once stood, its white waters glistening
like snow in the sunshine; and there was the river
which we call the Jordan, winding among hills
and pleasant groves and through fruitful valleys ;
and just beyond it was a fair city, the city of Jericho,
nestling among tall palms, in the midst of fields of
waving grain; and stretching away and away to
the western sky were the fertile plains, the rich
valleys, and the vine-clad hills of the Land of
Promise. And while Moses was looking upon this
delightful prospect, he died; but no man was with
Ill

fim, and no one ever knew where his body was
laid. He was a hundred and twenty years old,
but as bright-eyed and hale and strong as he had
ever been. And when the people learned that he
was dead, they mourned for him thirty days.

There was still much to be done before they
could enter into the Promised Land, and make for
themselves homes in that delightful region. Many
tribes of warlike men dwelt among the hills and
in the valleys, and these they must fight and sub-
due. Many strong and high-walled cities stood in
the midst of the land, and these they must cap-
ture and destroy. And so, while they mourned
for their great leader, their captains made ready
for the conflict that was before them, and the
hearts of all were full of hope.

“Tt shall be well with us,” they said to one
another, “if we remember the words that Moses
spoke to us; for they are the commandments of
God.”

And always after that, the children of the
Prince, or’ Israelites, were governed by the laws
which Moses had given them while they were
wandering among the mountains and deserts of
wild Arabia. And their descendants to this very
day remember and. honor him as their greatest law-
giver and the most famous man of their race.




“THE MAN WHOSE EYES WERE OPEN.”

I. THE SOOTHSAYER.

THERE lived in the mountain land this side of
the great river Euphrates a Soothsayer whose
fame had gone out into every country of the East.
Some men said that he was a prophet, and had
learned his wisdom from on high; and others said
that he was a magician, and had gotten his skill
from the powers of evil. But, be that as it may, he
foretold many things truthfully, and people came to
him from far and near to learn about matters that
were to them strange and unknown.

One day a company of men from the West came
to see him. They brought with them gifts of gold
and frankincense and honey, and many beautiful
and costly things; and when they had rested them-
selves, and washed their feet and their hands, and
eaten bread with him, they told him their errand.

“Our King,” they said, “sends. to you these gifts;
and he. begs that you will make all haste and return

112
113

with us, that so you may save our country from
destruction.”

“Where is your country?” asked the Soothsayer,
“and how can I save it from destruction?”

“Our country,” they answered, “lies five days’
journey to the west, with the desert on this side
of it, and the Dead Sea beyond; and it is rich in
flocks and herds, and in corn and honey. But a
great tribe of wandering men who call themselves
the Children of the Prince have come up like so
many grasshoppers from the Land of the Nile; and
they have camped on the borders of our land, and
threaten to drive us from our fields and our cities,
and to destroy us from the earth, as they have
destroyed the nations that were neighbors to us.
We know that we are not strong enough to stand
against them, for they are like the sands of the sea
in number. And so our King sends you this mes-
sage: ‘Come, I pray you, and curse this people,
and then we shall prevail against them, and drive
them out of the land; for I know that he whom
you bless is blessed indeed, and that he whom you
curse is accursed.’” ;

‘Why should I do this thing for your King, who
is a stranger to me?” said the Soothsayer. “ But
lodge with me in my house to-night, and in the
morning I will tell you whether I will go.”

STO. OF THE EAST—8
114

So the men staid with the Soothsayer that
night, and in the morning he brought them his
answer.

“Go back into your own land,” said he, “and tell
your King that I will not curse the people who call
themselves the Children of the Prince: for in the
night I had a vision, and a voice spoke to me, and
said, ‘Go not with the men, and do not curse the
people who have come up out of the Nile country;
for they are my people, and they are blessed.”

The men bowed themselves, and then mounted
their camels, and made all speed to carry this an-
swer back to their King.

‘Ten days after that, there came to the Soothsayer
other men from the same country; and they were
the princes of the land, and stood next to the King.
They brought two gold cups as presents for the
Soothsayer, besides many other gifts of great beauty
and worth.

“OQ wise man of the East!” they cried, “our
master the King prays that you will-let nothing

hinder you from going to him at once. See these
_ rich presents which he has sent! and you shall
have many more, and the King will give you the
highest office in the land, if you will only hasten
and curse these robbers who call themselves the
Children of the Prince: for now they have crossed
115

our borders, and are burning our towns, and
driving away our flocks, and killing our people;
and we are not strong enough to stand against
them.”

The Soothsayer took the presents from their
hands, and said, “I would fain please your King, —
for he seems to be fair-minded and just; and yet,
if he were to give me a house full of silver and
gold, I cannot do that which he wishes, unless the
God whom I worship bids me. But lodge with me
to-night, and in the morning I will answer you.”

So the princes slept in the house of the Sooth-
‘sayer that night; and in the morning when they
arose, they found him with his cloak upon his
shoulders, and his sandals on his feet, ready for a
long journey.

“Let us lose no time,” said he, “for I will go
with you to your country. But what I shall say
to those enemies of yours, whether cursings or
blessings, I know not.”

Il. THE VISION.

Over the hills and across the lonely desert, the
Soothsayer and the princes made their way, having
their faces always towards the place of the setting
sun. The princes rode on fleet-footed camels, with
116

spearsmen leading the way; and the Soothsayer
followed them, mounted on an ambling donkey,
with his two servants running behind. On the
fifth day they reached the borders of a fair ~
country where there were trees and vines, and
now and then a field of grain, or a green pasture
where sheep were feeding.

“This is our land,” said one of the princes, —
“the land of which these men from the Nile would
rob us.”

After a time they came to a place where the
road was quite narrow, with a vineyard on one
side, and a field of grain on the other.

The Soothsayer was riding carelessly along,
looking at the great clusters of grapes upon the
vines, when all at once his donkey sprang to one |
side, and ran into the field. What could ail the
beast! She had never acted so before.

Her master beat her soundly with his cane, and at
last forced her to go back into the road.-

A little while after, they came to a- place where
there was a-stone wall on either side of the road.
Here the donkey stopped, and tried to go back. But
when the Soothsayer beat her again, she sprang to
one side and rushed forward, crushing her master’s
foot against the wall.”

“Ts the beast mad?” said one of the servants.
117

“Nay,” said the other, “I think that she has seen
a spirit;” for in those times people believed that
some animals were gifted with powers of sight
that were denied to men, and that they could see
things which our dull eyes cannot perceive.

And now the road became still narrower. It
was a mere path between two rocky banks, and was
barely wide enough for a camel to pass with his
rider on his back.

All at once the donkey stopped, and then fell
down upon her knees. The Soothsayer had been
vexed before, but now he was in a rage. He
seized a stick that was lying on the ground, and
beat the donkey with many a blow.

“What have I done,” cried the poor beast, “that
you should beat me so cruelly?”

“You have mocked me, you have mocked
me!” answered her master. “If I only had a sword
in my hand, I would kill you!”

“Have I not served you well ever since I be-
longed to you?” said the donkey. “And did I
ever behave in this way before?”

“No,” said the Soothsayer; and then, looking up,
~ he saw the cause of the beast’s affright. Right in
the path before him stood a shining being, whose
face was like the sun, and who held in his hand a.
drawn sword of wondrous length. There was no
118

way to pass by, either on the right or on the left,
and to go forward would be to meet death at the
point of the sword. The Soothsayer covered his
face with his hands, and bowed himself to the
ground.

“Why have you beaten your poor beast these
three times?” said the bright being. ‘I have come
out to meet you, because your heart was not right,
and you were longing for the rewards which the
King of this land has promised you. If the donkey
had not seen me, and turned aside, I would have
killed you, and saved her alive.”

The Soothsayer was filled with fear, and cried
out for mercy.

“Truly, I have done wrong,” he cried. “I did
not know that you were standing in the way.
Spare me now, I pray, and I will go back into my
own country with all haste.”

“Not so,” said the bright being. “Arise, and
ride on with the men of the King. But have a
care that you speak only the words which you are
bidden to speak.”

Then the Soothsayer arose and looked; but the
flashing sword was no longer in the way, and the
shining being with the sun-bright face had vanished.
He spoke kindly to the trembling donkey, and then
he rode on to overtake the men of the King.
11g

“Is our master mad?” said one of his servants.
“He never acted so strangely before.”

“Nay,” said the other; “I think that he too
must have seen a spirit.”

lll. THE FIRST MOUNTAIN.

When the King of the land heard that the Sooth-
sayer had come, he went out to meet him; and he
again promised him great rewards if he would curse
the Children of the Prince.

“T have no power either to bless or to curse,”
said the Soothsayer, “only as it is given to me from
on high.”

On the morrow they went up into a high moun-
tain, from near the top of which they could see all
the country around. Looking to the southward,
they saw the plains covered ‘with the tents of the
~ strange people who had come up out of the Land of
the Nile. There were thousands of men and women
and children; and their flocks and herds dotted the
hillsides for miles away.

“ Build seven altars here on the mountain top,”
said the Soothsayer, “and bring me seven fat oxen
and seven rams.”

The servants of the King hastened to do as they
were bidden; and the Soothsayer killed the oxen
120

and the rams, and then laid the choicest parts of
the flesh upon the wood of the altars.

‘‘Now bring me fire,” he said; and soon seven
columns of smoke arose from the altars, and the
flames burst out, and the air was filled with the
pleasant odor of the burning flesh.

Then the Soothsayer said to the King, “Stand
here by the altars, and I will go aside by myself.
It may be that a spirit will come and talk with
me, and tell me what to do.”

He walked away, and climbed still higher up the
mountain side. At last, when he reached the top
of the highest peak, he stood still and wrapped his
cloak about him, and waited in the midst of the
smoke which came up from the burnt offerings.
And the King and his princes stood in silence by
the altars.

At last the oxen and the rams were burnt up,
the fires died away, and nothing but white ashes
was left on the loose stones of the altars; and then
the Soothsayer, with slow steps, came down to meet
the King. .

“O man of wisdom!” cried the King, “is it well
with you? Come, stand on this jutting rock, where
you can see the host of robbers, and then curse
them every one, that so our land may be saved
from destruction.”
THE SOOTHSAYER STOOD UPON THE ROCK, AND



LIFTED HIS HANDS TOWARDS HEAVEN.

(121)
122

The Soothsayer stood upon the rock, and lifted
his hands towards heaven; and then he spoke: —

“ From my mountain home in the East
The King of this land has called me. ©
é He would have me curse this people
Who have come up from the Land of the Nile.
But how shall I curse whom God hath blessed ?
How shall I defy whom God hath not defied?
From the top of the rocks I see them,
And from the hills I behold them.
Lo, they shall dwell alone in the land,
And there shall be none beside them.
Who can count the Children of the Prince,
Or number a fourth of this people?
Oh, give me the death of the righteous,
And let my last end be like his !”

When the King heard these words, he was angry,
and cried out, “What are you doing? I brought
you here to curse my enemies, and, instead of that,
you have blessed them.”

But the Soothsayer answered, “Must I not
speak. the words that are given to me from on
high? for I have no power of my own either to
bless or to curse.”

“ This is not a good place,” said the King, “and
perhaps you have not heard the right voice. To-
morrow:we will go up into another mountain, and
try again.”
123

IV. THE SECOND MOUNTAIN.

The next day the King and his princes and the
Soothsayer climbed to the top of Mount Pisgah.
It was much higher than the other mountain.
From its summit they could see ‘all the country
spread out before them like a map. At their
right, almost at their feet, was the Dead Sea, its
calm waters glistening like silver in the rays of
the sun. Beyond it were the hills and valleys
of the Land of Promise, where were thousands
of fields and orchards and vineyards, and many
a white-walled city half hidden among groves of
stately palm trees. It was a wonderful and beauti-
ful sight; but the Soothsayer turned away to view
the plains that were stretched out before him and
on his left. There he could see the encampment
of the Children of the Prince, but it was so far
away that the people looked like mere ce
moving about from place to place.

“ Build seven altars here,” he said, “and bring
seven fat oxen and seven rams for a burnt
offering.”

_ And when the smoke arose from the altars, he
said to the King, ‘“‘ Stand here while I go yonder.”
And he went and hid himself in a cave among the
rocks, where no one could see or hear; and when
124

he had covered his face with his cloak, he stood
still and waited for a long time.

Hour after hour passed by, the fires on the altars
burned low, and the King and his princes grew
tired of waiting; but when the sun was almost
down, the Soothsayer came out from his place and
stood before them.

“What is your message this time?” asked the
King.

The Soothsayer-raised his eyes and held up his
hands, and said, — -

“God is not man, that he should lie,
Nor the son of man, that he should repent.
Hath he said, and shall he not do it?
Hath he spoken, and shall it not be so?
He hath blessed, and I cannot curse.
Behold, this people shall rise up as a great lion,
As a young lion shall they lift themselves up ;
They shall not lie down until they eat of the prey,
And drink of the blood of the slain.”

The King was very angry because’ the Sooth-
sayer blessed the people a second time, but he
still hoped that there was some mistake.

“This is not a good place,” he said. “To-
morrow we will look down upon our enemies
from the hill of Peor. It may be that you will
be allowed to curse them from there.”
125

Vv. THE THIRD MOUNTAIN.

Early the next morning the King and the Sooth-
sayer, with their servants and the princes of the
land, went up into the mountain called Peor. It
was not a very high mountain, but on it was a
temple in which was an image of one of the gods
of that country; and the King hoped that the
Soothsayer would hear the voice of this god. As
they stood and looked down upon the plain, they
could see the Children. of the Prince moving in and
out among their tents. They could hear the shouts
of the men, and the songs of the women, and the
merry voices of the boys and girls; for the en-
campment was very near.

“ Build me here seven altars, and get ready seven
fat oxen and seven rams,” said the Soothsayer.

And the King’s servants made haste to do as
they were bidden; and soon an ox and a ram were
smoking on every altar. Then the Soothsayer,
instead of going away by himself, turned his face
towards the plain, and looked down upon the tents.

“O King!” he said, “hear now the words of
the man whose eyes are open.: Twice already he
has spoken that which was given to him when
in a trance; twice has he said what he heard in
a trance with his eyes open.
126

“ How goodly are the tents of the Children of the Prince !
As valleys are they spread forth,
As gardens by the riverside,
As aloes which God hath planted,
As cedar trees beside the waters.”

Then the King was very angry, and he clapped
his hands together, and bade the Soothsayer stop.

“Did I not call you here to curse my enemies?
Did I not promise you great rewards, and show
you the lands and houses that I would give you?
And now, instead of cursing these people, you have
blessed them three times.”

“Did I not say unto your messengers,” answered
the Soothsayer, “that, if their King should offer me
his house full of gold and silver, I would not speak
one word, whether good or bad, that was not given
me from on high?”

“Tt is enough,” said the King. “If you would
save your life, flee from this place at once.”

Then the Soothsayer spoke again.

“O King!” said he, “hear the words of the man
whose eyes are open. Hear the words which
were given to him when he was in a trance, hav-
ing his eyes open: —

“JT shall see him, but not now;
I shall behold him, but not nigh ;
From this people a star shall rise,
127

From them shall come a mighty king ;
And he shall smite the corners of your land,
And destroy all that dwell in your cities.”

And when he had finished speaking, he went
down the mountain, and hastened to go into his
own country. And the King and his princes went
their own way, and sought to find some other means
by which to save their land.

The name of “the man whose eyes were open”
was Balaam, and the name of the King was Balak.
And there is a story that Balaam afterwards tried
to help the King in another way; for he persuaded
many of the Children of the Prince to worship the
strange god whose image was on the mountain of
Peor. But in the end he joined himself with the
wild tribes of the desert; and, in a great battle
that was fought against the people whom he had
blessed, he was slain with the sword.




THE BEE AND THE GAZELLE.

I. THE BEE.

Tuey called her Deborah, or the Bee, for that
was the name which in those days was given to
wise women and singers of songs.

She lived in a little house under a palm tree, an
she was the busiest person in all the land. Men
came from far and near -to tell her about their
troubles. and to ask her advice. She settled their
quarrels, and punished wrongdoers, and helped the
poor, and bade everybody hope for the coming of
better days.

“ She ought to be our queen,” some would say.

“ But we are slaves, and our people dare not have
a queen,” said others. ;

“ Then we will call her our judge,” was the answer,
“and we will do what she bids.”

Those were indeed dark days for the Children of
the Prince. Twenty years before, the King of the
Canaanites, or Low Country Folk, had sent an army

128
129

against them, and had taken all their towns, and
had made them his servants; and ever since then
they had done his bidding, and had not dared to call
anything their own. It was of no use for them to
till their fields and raise fine crops of grain; it was
of no use to tend-their flocks or care for their vines
and fruit trees: the Low Country Folk might come
any day and take everything from them. The peo-
ple left their homes in the towns, and fled to the
woods and hills; and no one dared to travel on
the highroads, but skulked from place to place by

secret pathways. :

“We are slaves,” they groaned, “and there is no
help for us.”

But there was one person who did not lose heart,
and that person was the Bee. She busied herself
every day in making plans to free her people. She
sent trusted spies into the Low Country to see what
the King was doing; she learned all about his fight-
ing men, and knew how many he could call into
battle. Then she went out among the hills and
called the men of her own nation together, and bade
them be ready at any moment to rise up against
their tyrant master.

Eighty miles away there lived a young man
named Barak, whom she chose to be their leader.
He was so brave and strong, and withal so bright

STO. OF THE EAST—9
130

and quick, that he was called Lightning; and
there was not a man in all the land who would
not gladly obey him. One day the Bee sent for
him, and said, — ‘

‘The time has come now to make a bold move
for freedom, and we must act at once. How many
men can you muster? ”

And Lightning said, “ Within two days’ journey
from this place there are ten thousand who are only
waiting to be called. 4

“Then do not wait,” said the Bee, “but send
out your messengers, and give the signal this very —
night for them to come together. Waste no time,
but have every man hasten to this place, that so
you may march out in great strength against our
foes.”

That night swift messengers sped through the
woods and among the hills, and beacon lights
flashed on every mountain top in the land; and
from among the rocks and glens came company
after company of desperate men, all rallying to the
call of their leader. :

On the third day Lightning found himself at the
head of a great army. Some of the men had come
with swords and spears, some with axes, and many
with nothing but clubs and stones.. But all were
full of hope, and ready to fight.
131

“ Better die now than live longer in slavery,” they
said.

Then the Bee said to Lightning, “Go forth with
your hosts, and draw towards Mount Tabor, the
Stone Quarry Mountain. The army of the Low
Country Folk will come out to meet you, and you
shall utterly overcome them.”

But Lightning began now to feel afraid.

“Do you know,” said he, “that the leader of our
enemies is Sisera, the greatest warrior in the world?
Men call him Battlefield, for he has never yet been
beaten in fight. He has nine hundred iron chariots,
and our people have suffered much at his hands.
How can we prevail against him?”

“But you will prevail against him,” said Bee.
“Go forth, and fear not.”

Then Lightning said, “If you will go with me,
then I will 805 but if you will not go with me, then
I will not go.”

“Very well,” said the Bee, “I will go. But, mark
what I say! the honors of the day shall not be
‘yours, but another’s; for the Lord of.the Battlefield
shall meet his death at the hands of a woman.”

Then she went out and .took her place with
Lightning at the head of the army; and they
marched to the foot of the Stone Quarry Moun-
tain, and there awaited the coming of their foes.
132

Il. THE GAZELLE.

It is noonday.

The sun shines down hot upon the grassy plain.
The air is close and stifling. There is hardly a
sign of life to be seen anywhere. Siem

But here, in the sparse shade of some stunted
shrubs, a few sheep and lambs are lying. They
are panting for breath, it is so hot. Tempting as
the short, sweet grass must be, they do not care
to stir about in the fierce blazing sunlight.

A man is making his way across the plain. He
has come down from the hills over towards the
Stone Quarry Mountain, and he is alone and on
foot. He looks around him all the time as though
-fearful of being seen. He skulks behind the
shrubs, and stops now and then to listen. His
feet are blistered and swollen with traveling over
the hot stony ground. His face-is wild and
‘haggard. The slightest sound startles him.

He sees the sheep lying under the shrubs.

“Ah! this must be the pasture ground of my
old-time friend, the Arab sheik,” he says. “If
so, his tents cannot be far away.”

‘He climbs a little mound, and stands up straight
and looks about him. Yes, yonder, a mile away,
is a cluster of palm trees, and in its midst he
133

can see the white tops of tents. How cool and
inviting! And there is water there to quench
his burning thirst. If he can only reach that
grove, he will be saved.

But what if his enemies have gotten here
before him? In that case he had better die of
the heat and of thirst, alone on the great plain.
But his throat is already parched and dry, his
tongue is swollen, his brain is on fire. He will
take all risks for one drop of water.

At last the man reaches the edge of the grove.
He drags himself into the shade of a palm tree,
and glances wildly about him. There are the
tents, only a stone’s throw away; but not a living
creature is to be seen. Even the dogs are sleeping.

And there is the well, with cool, refreshing water
at its bottom. He will make a dash for it, although
he must pass close by the door of the women’s
tent.

But he reels and staggers now. He has hardly
strength to put one foot before the other, And
—who is that? In the door of the women’s tent
stands Jael, or the Gazelle, the beautiful wife of
the. Arab sheik. She has been watching him
for some time; indeed, she saw him while he
was skulking across the plain. Will she know
him in his strange, pitiable plight?

135

Yes. She calls to him as he turns his wild
~ eyes towards her.

“O Lord of the Battlefield!” she cries. “Wel-
come to our tents! Come in and rest yourself,
for the heat of the sun is unbearable, and you
must be weary with your journey.”

She takes his arm, and helps him into the tent.
He falls upon the cushions by the curtained door,
and gasps, “ Water, water!”

“Here is something better than water,” she
says; and she fetches a leathern bottle full of
cool delicious buttermilk. He drinks, and is at
once refreshed. He looks into the great dark
eyes of the Gazelle, and his courage comes to him
‘again. Surely he can trust her; surely she will
befriend him.

“ Now tell me,” she says,—and she speaks very
kindly, —“ tell me what has happened, that you,
the greatest warrior in the world, must needs
flee thus, on foot and alone, across the great
plain.”

“Then you have not heard about it?” answers
the chief, and his face lights up with hope. “I
feared that my enemies had been here before me;
nay, that they might be in the sheik’s tents even
now. But, since you have asked me, I will tell you.
Three days ago a great host of the Children of the
136

Prince-came up and encamped on the slope of the
Stone Quarry Mountain. They were led by their
wise woman whom they call the Bee, and by the
young outlaw chief whom they have nicknamed
Lightning ; and they defied me to meet them in
battle. Then I marshaled my army, and rode out
to meet them with nine hundred iron chariots
behind me, and thousands of horsemen, besides
bowmen and spearsmen without number; and we
thought to make short work of the rebels. We
met them early in the day, by the side of the river
at the foot of the mountain; and we fought until
the sun was in the west. But we could not stand
before them. The stars were against us from the
first. My horsemen were overthrown, my chariots
were broken in pieces, my fighting men were slain,
my army was routed, and I escaped only with my
life. . . . They hunted me like a wild beast.
They drove me out of the hill country, and I
could find no hiding place nor safety anywhere.
There was only one thing for me to- do, and that
was to cross the great plain, and seek my kindred
in the lowlands of the east. But my enemiés are
not far behind me. They are on my track, and
they may overtake me this very day.”

“Fear not, my lord,” says the Gazelle. “They
' will not dare come into my tent without my leave.
137

And so lie down a while and rest until the cool of
the day, for I know that you must be sorely in
want of sleep.”

He needs not to be urged, for it is now three
days since he has had any rest. He stretches
himself upon the floor behind the curtains, and
she covers him with a cloak.

‘Now stand in the tent door,” he says; “and if
any one comes, and asks, ‘Is there a man in here?’
tell him, ‘No.’ ”

In another moment he is asleep. The Gazelle,
from her place by the tent door, hears his loud
breathing. A fearful change comes over her beau-
tiful face. Her great eyes do not sparkle with
kindness and gentleness: they glare wildly, and
her cheeks grow pale. She trembles, but not with
fear.

“Tt was he that enslaved my mother’s people,”
she whispers to herself; “it was he that robbed
my kinsmen; it was he that slew my poor brothers,
and would not listen to their prayers for mercy.
Why did I not drive him away to die of thirst?
But he might have escaped. He may yet escape;
and then he will raise another army, and come and
oppress my people again. It were a sin to let him
do this. But what can I do?”

There is no one near to whom she can call. The
138

men have not been at home for now four days.
Only women and children are in the tents, and
they are sleeping through the heat of the day.

“Tn the evening,” she says, “ he will awaken, and
be refreshed, and go on his way. Our men can
hardly take him then, even though they come; and
he will soon be among his friends. But it must not
be. I myself will save my people.”

She glances hastily about her. She does not ask
herself, “Is it right?” She has never been taught
the great law, Forgive your enemies. She thinks
only of avenging the wrongs which her kinspeople
have suffered.

But what can she do, —she, a weak woman, with
no weapon of any kind?

Ah, what is that on the ground at her feet? A
long sharp-pointed tent pin lies there, and near it
is a heavy hammer. She can handle these more
easily than a sword.

Softly, on tiptoes, she goes behind the curtains.
She stoops over the sleeping man. The cloak does
not wholly cover his head. The Gazelle holds the
tent pin in one hand, and the hammer in the other.
She shudders.

A moment later she runs, shrieking, from the tent.

With white face and frightened eyes, she stands
under the palm trees and listens. There is no
139

sound in the tents save the crying of a child that
has been wakened from its sleep. But suddenly
there is a shout behind her. She turns, and sees a
company of horsemen near at hand. She knows
who they are; for at their head rides her own Arab
husband, and by his side is Barak the Lightning,
the leader of her mother’s people. They leap to
the ground, and she runs to meet them.

“ Come with me,” she says, “and I will show you
the man whom you are seeking.”

She leads them into her own tent. She lifts the
curtains aside, and points toward the floor. There,
still half-covered by the cloak, lies Sisera, the Lord
of the Battlefield. He is dead.

“T was afraid you would not come,” she says;
“and I could not let him escape.”

III. THE SONG.

When the people heard the first news of the great
battle, they were very glad, for they hoped that the
days of oppression. were at an end. And some
praised Deborah the Bee for her wisdom and
courage, and some honored Barak the Lightning
for his skill and daring.

“Now let us go back to our homes, and live in
peace,” said the young men.
140

But the old men shook their heads, and said,
“ Nay, for so long as Sisera lives, there can be no
safety for us.”

Then horsemen came riding from the plain, and
told how the dreaded Lord of the Battlefield had
met his death in the tent of the Gazelle. And the
people were wild with joy, and declared that the
Gazelle had done as much as the Bee towards
making their country free; for those were wild,
rude times, and men had not yet learned that
treachery, even towards a foe, is a hateful and
wicked thing.

And not long after that, when the Children of
the Prince were again settled in their homes, Deb-
orah the Bee made up a song of victory; and she
and Barak sang it before the people when they met
together to rejoice at the harvest feast. Here is
a part of that song, almost as they sang it. It is
one of the first songs ever written down.

“ Awake, awake, O Deborah !
Awake, awake and sing!
Arise, O Barak brave,
And lead thy captives in !
- Brave chiefs to the battle came,
But they took no gain away ;
For the stars in their courses fought,
They fought against Sisera.
14I

‘‘Oh, blessed above all women
Shall Jael the Gazelle be ;
Oh, honored indeed is she
Above all that dwell in tents.
Sisera asked her for water,
And she gave him milk to drink ;
She brought him butter also,
And he ate from a lordly dish.

‘She put her hand to the tent pin,
She held the workman’s hammer ;
And with the heavy hammer
She smote the dreaded warrior. *
She drove the nail through his temples
When she smote with the workman’s hammer.
At her feet he bowed, he fell —
At her feet he bowed, he lay ;
Where he bowed, he fell down dead.

“The mother of Sisera looked out, —
She looked out at a window, —
And through the lattice she cried,
‘Ah, why is Sisera’s chariot
So long in coming home?. ~
Ah, why run the wheels so slowly, —
The wheels of his chariot of war?’

“The ladies who were with her answered, —
She had already answered herself, —
‘Is not the victory theirs?
Are they not dividing the spoil?
142

And will not Sisera bring me

His share of fine needlework, —
Of needlework many-colored,
And fit for the necks of queens?’

“So let all thine enemies perish,
O Lord, our fathers’ God !
But let those who love and fear thee
Be as the morning sun.”




IDOL BREAKER.

I, THE IDOL.

- In the town of Ophrah, or the Fawn, there was
a man who took care of an idol. This idol was
made of wood, and was shaped. somewhat like a
man; but it was ten times uglier than any man
you ever saw. It stood on a little platform in the
midst of a shady grove, and the people of the town
came and worshiped it. If any good luck hap-
pened to them, they thanked the idol, and burned
incense, or sometimes the leg of a goat, before it;
for they fancied that the ugly image had done
it all. But if any misfortune befell them, they
said that the idol was angry, and they crawled in
the dust before it, and promised to do better in
the future.

“What a sad place this world would be if our
idol did not befriend us!” they said.

But the man who took care of this idol had a
son who did not believe in it.

143
144

“ How silly,” he said, “to think that a piece of
painted wood can either help or harm us! It is
only a log, and logs have no sense.”

One night he went with ten of his young com-
rades and threw the idol down upon the ground.
They beat it with clubs, and broke off its arms and
its nose, and carried away the platform where it had
stood, and cut down the grove. |

When the men of the town heard what had been
done, they made a great ado about it.

“ How dare any one harm our idol!” they cried.
“ Now, if we do not punish the young men who have
abused him, he will be angry with us all, and cause
some great misfortune to happen to us.” _

So they took their clubs and their swords in their
hands, and went up to the house of the man who a
had the care of the idol.

“Where is your son?” they said. “We have
come out to slay him for overturning and_break-
ing the idol.”

‘“My friends,” said the man, “do you believe
that you are stronger than the idol?”

“Oh, no!” they answered, “the idol is ever so
much stronger than we.”

“Very well, then,” said the mah; “if he is so
strong, why can he not take care of himself? It
seems to me, that, if he had been as mighty as
145

we believed him to be, he would not have suffered
a few young men to beat him.”

“It does seem so,” said his neighbors.

And while they were talking together, the young
man came boldly before them, and with his ax broke
the fallen idol into a thousand pieces.

“ Now, I should like to see him harm any of us!”
he cried.

“ How foolish we were to put our trust in that
kind of an idol!” said the men; and they went
slowly back to their homes.

And after that, the young man who had broken
the idol was called Jerub-baal, a name which in his
language meant Idol Breaker.

Il. THE ANGEL.

The very next year a great army of Arabs in-
vaded the country. They came with their camels
and their tents, and there were so many of them
that they could not be counted. The Children
of the Prince were too weak to stand against
them. They were beaten in every fight. The
Arabs took their towns, and burned their houses
to the ground, and robbed their’ fields and _ their
orchards, and killed their young men. There
was no peace nor safety in all the land.

STO. OF THE EAST— IO
146

“If we only had our idol,” said some of the
people, “he would help us against our cruel foes.”

‘““We doubt it,” said others; “for he was not
even strong enough to withstand the young man
who broke him in pieces.”

And so things went on from bad to worse for
seven years. The Children of the Prince could
hardly show their faces for fear of the Arabs.
They lived in dens which they made for them-
selves among the mountains, or in caves, or in
strong places on the hilltops; and they dared
not reap their grain nor gather their fruit, for
then their cruel masters would swoop down upon
them and take everything away. In all the land
there was not a man who was brave enough to
lead them against their foes.

One day in midsummer the young man whom
they called Idol Breaker ventured out of his hid-
ing place in the mountains, and went down to his
father’s farm to see how things were getting along.
The Arabs had been there. They had pillaged
the house, and had driven away the cattle. But
they had not touched the growing grain, and
now the wheat in the fields was yellow and ripe.

Idol Breaker thought how nice it would be if
he could carry a sackful of fine new wheat
to his famishing father and mother up in the
147

mountains. He looked around him. There were
no Arabs to be seen. He would harvest some of
the grain.

He found the little sickle which belonged to
his father, and ran into the field. Soon he came
back with as many sheaves of wheat as he could
carry. He would thresh out the grains from
these, and then he would go back and reap more.
But what if the Arabs should see him? They
would let him alone until he had finished his
day’s work, and then they would come and take
his grain away from him. He dared not use the
old threshing floor, for it was close by the road-
side, and they would be sure to see him there;
he dared not go into the house, for the first band
of robbers who came that way would stop and
find him while he was at work. But there was
the old wine press which had not been used for
three years or more. It stood behind some trees,
and the weeds and wild vines had grown up around
it until it was hidden from sight. It was just the
place in which to thresh his wheat, for nobody
would think of looking there.

He carried the sheaves into the place, and began
to tramp upon them with his feet in order to knock
out the grains. It was slow, hard work; for he
did not dare to beat the straw with a flail, lest he
148

should be heard. All day long he was busy, and
in the evening he was glad to find that, chaff and
all, there was a bushel of wheat on the floor of
the wine press. He was about to put it into a
sack, when he happened to look towards the house.
Who was it that he saw sitting in the shade of
the great oak tree close by?

He knew that it was not an Arab, and so he was
not afraid. But he had never before seen so hand-
some a man, and he wondered why he should be
sitting there, all alone and so still. While he was
looking and wondering, the stranger came towards
him, and spoke.

“ Hail, mighty man of valor!” he said. “The
Lord is with you.”

“Tf the Lord is with us,” said Idol Breaker in a
surly tone, ‘‘ why does he let the Arabs deal with us
in this way? ”

The stranger did not answer his question, but
said, “Go in your might, and set your people
free!”

“ How can I set them free?” said Idot Breaker.
‘My father is a poor man, and I am the youngest
of all his sons.” .

“Go forth in your might, and I will help you,”
said the stranger.

Then the thought came into Idol Breaker’s mind
149

that this stranger must be an angel, and yet he was
not quite sure that it was not all a dream; and he
half expected to wake up and find it so.

“Wait here a few minutes,” he said to the
stranger; and he ran to the house.

There was a young kid there which the Arabs
had not taken; and this he killed and dressed, and
laid upon some coals to broil. Then he found afew
handfuls of meal in a chest; and of this he made
some cakes, which he put into the ashes to bake.

“J will see whether he will eat of this food,” said
Idol Breaker, “for angels do not eat;” and he kept
looking out every minute to see that the stranger
did not go away.

In a little while the cooking was finished. The
young man made some broth in a pot, and put the
meat and the cakes in a basket. Then he carried
them out and offered them to the stranger.

“Lay the meat and the cakes on this rock,” said
the stranger, “and then pour out the broth.”

The young man did so. Then the stranger stood
up, and touched the food with his staff; and at once
a great smoke arose, and then a broad flame of fire.
Idol Breaker was so filled with wonder, that he did
not know what to do; but, when he looked around
for the stranger, he was gone.

“It was an angel, it was an angel!” cried the


AROS.

EAT SMOKE

GR

AT ONCE A

(150)
ISI

young man. _ “ And now I shall die, for no man can
see an angel and live.”

Then. he heard a voice, saying, “Fear not. You
shall not die until you have set your people free.”

Ill, THE CAMP.

After that, the young man could think of nothing
but of the angel, and of plans for setting his people
free. He went from one place to another, calling
upon the men to arm themselves and follow him;
and it was not long until he found himself at the
head of an army of thirty-two thousand men. Still
he was afraid that he might fail, and so he did not
dare to lead his men into open battle with the
Arabs.

“If I could only have a sure sign!” he said.
“ Now I will put a fleece of wool on the ground;
and in the morning if the wool is wet with dew, and
everything around it quite dry, I shall know that
the Arabs will be beaten, and my people will be
saved.”

And it happened just as he wished; for he arose
early in the morning, and wrung a bowlful of water
out of the fleece, while everything around it was dry.

But even then he was not satisfied.

“It may have been an accident,” he said. “I
152

cannot risk a battle until I have another. sign.
To-night I will lay the fleece down in the same
place, and in the morning, if it is dry, while every-
thing else around it is wet, then I shall know that
my people will be saved.”

And it happened just so; for in the morning the
fleece was dry, but there was dew on all the ground.
And now he was no longer afraid.

Just as the sun was rising over the hills, he blew
his trumpet; and his army arose at the call, and
followed him down into the valley, where there was
a famous well and much water. And the army of
the Arabs, a great host with camels and _ horses,
was encamped not far away.

“Now,” said Idol Breaker to his men, “you see
the foes whom we have come out to meet, and you
must know that the battle will be a hard one. If
any of you are afraid, I will give you leave to turn
- about right now, and go back to your homes.”

Twenty-two thousand men left him at once, and
with glad hearts hurried back to their safe caves
and rock-built strongholds among the hills.

“ Never mind,” said Idol Breaker to the brave
ten thousand who staid with him. “There are still
enough of us to drive the Arabs out of the land.”
And he led them far up on the hillside, where they
were well hidden among the trees, and where they
153
could overlook the camp of their foes. ‘There they -
staid quietly all day long. The sun shone hot, and
the air was sultry; and the men suffered from thirst,
for there was no water to drink. At the foot of the
hill there was a brook; but Idol Breaker would not
allow any one to go down for a drink, lest the Arabs
might see them.

' «Wait until after the sun has set,” he said.

When evening came, and the camp of the Arabs
could not be seen in the dusky twilight, he led his
men to the brook. They were so thirsty that most
of them forgot everything but the water. They
threw themselves down upon the bank, and dipped
their lips into the cool stream. But there were
three hundred who kept their wits about them.
They were eager to fight, and in a hurry to make
a dash upon the camp of the Arabs; and so they
dipped the water up hastily with their hands, and
drank as they ran.

“You are the men for me!” cried Idol Breaker.
“Let all the others go back to their places on the
hillside.”

Then he led the three hundred men a little farther
down the valley, and waited there until far in the
night. When it was quite dark, and everything was
still, he took one of his trusty servants and went
over to the Arab camp. There were the tents and
154.

‘the camels and the men,— thousands upon thou-
sands of them,— covering the whole plain. Idol
Breaker crept close to a tent, and listened. A man
was telling his dream to his comrade.

“What do you think it means?” he said. “I

dreamed that a cake of barley bread came rolling
down the hill, and tumbled into our camp, and broke
down our tents, and put all our men to flight.”
- “Tt is a bad dream,” said the other man; “and
it means that the sword of the Idol Breaker and
of the God whom he worships will utterly over-
throw the army of the Arabs, and put us all to
flight.”

When Idol Breaker heard these words, he was
glad, and fell down upon his knees and gave thanks
to Heaven for this sign which had been sent him.
Then he arose, and hurried back to the place where
his three hundred men were waiting.

“ Now do as I bid you, and we shall have a great
victory,” he said.

And he put into the left hand of each man a
deep pitcher with a lighted candle inside of it,
and into each one’s right hand he put a trumpet.

“How shall we fight with these things?” said
some.

“Only follow me, and do as I do,” Said Idol
Breaker.
155

IV. THE FLIGHT.

Idol Breaker divided his little company into three
_ bands of one hundred men each, and showed them
how they should go down to the Arabs’ camp. One
of the bands was to go around to the right, another
to the left, and a third was to creep up to the center;
and it was all to be done so quietly that not even
the dogs could hear them.

Idol Breaker himself led the middle band, and it
was about midnight when they reached the line of
the camp. There was not an Arab stirring. Every
one was in his own tent, fast asleep. There was not
a sound to be heard. Then all at once Idol Breaker
dashed his pitcher against a stone, and blew his
trumpet, and shouted, —

“ The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”

And every man of the three hundred did the same
thing; and the light of the three hundred candles
burst out in a moment from the darkness; and
every man rushed with clattering speed right into
the camp, shouting, —

“ The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”

The Arabs awoke. They sprang up in great
alarm. They saw the three hundred twinkling lights,
and heard the three hundred blaring trumpets. In
their fright they fancied that a great army had come
156

down upon theircamp. No man thought of anything

but how he should save himself. Some seized their

swords and ran wildly through the camp, striking at

every one they met. Some rushed half awake from |
their tents, and fled into the open plain. They

fought among themselves, not knowing friend from

foe. Soon the whole great army had _ betaken

itself to flight.

Idol Breaker and his three hundred men followed
close behind, swinging their burning candles, and
blowing their trumpets, and shouting, —

“ The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”

Then the rest of the ten thousand men who had
been left on the hilltop came hurrying down, and
joined in the pursuit. They overtook the Arabs,
and with their swords and spears made great havoc
among them. The din of battle and of flight moved
onward across the plain. Morning came, and still
the Arabs fled; and still their pursuers kept up the
chase, shouting, — : :

“ The sword of the Lord and of Gideon !”

Towards midday, Idol Breaker and his men came
to a walled town called the Town of Tents, which
belonged to their own kinsmen, — people who called
themselves Children of the Prince.

“Open your gates, O men of the Town of °
Tents!” said Idol Breaker. “We would fain go in
157

and rest ourselves a little while, and be refreshed;
for we have followed our foes for a long time, and
we are weary and faint.”

But the people of the town would not open their
gates, nor would they give the hungry men any
food. They stood on their walls, and taunted Idol
Breaker and those who were with him.

“Why should we do these things for you?” they
said. “You have not yet caught the Arab chiefs;
and if they should turn upon you, what would
become of you?”

“Very well,” said Idol Breaker. “Wait until I
have caught them, and then I will tear your flesh
with thorns and briers.”

And then, hungry and tired as they were, Idol
Breaker and his men went on after the fleeing
Arabs. By and by they came to a place where
there was a strong tower of stone, called Prospect
Tower.

“Open your gates, O kinsmen!” said Idol Breaker
to the armed men in the tower, “and let us come
in and rest a little while; and give us water to
drink and'some food to eat, that so we may be
refreshed, and go on, and drive our enemies out of
the land.”

But the men in the tower said, “ This is no fight
of ours. Why should we feed you?”
158

“ Wait till I come again,” said Idol Breaker, ‘‘and
I will break down the walls of your tower.” ;

All day long the Arabs fled, and all day long
Idol Breaker and his men followed after. At night
they rested by a brook, and on the morrow they
renewed the chase. Just how long they kept this
up, I do not know; but they did not turn back
until the great host of a hundred and twenty
thousand men had been scattered and put to the
sword, and the two Arab chiefs had been caught
and bound with chains.

Then early one morning before the sun was
up, Idol Breaker led his little army back by way
of the Town of Tents. And when he had forced
the gates open, and led his men into the place,
he took seventy-seven of the chief men of the
town, and beat them with thorns and briers, as
he had promised to do. As for Prospect Tower,
he broke down its walls, and killed the men who
were within, so great was his anger against them.

After this the Children of the Prince wanted
Idol Breaker to be their king, because he had freed
their country from the cruel Arabs. But he said,
“No, I will not be your king. The God of our
fathers, he is your king.”

Then he asked them if they would give him all
the earrings that they had taken from the Arabs.
159

“We will give them willingly,” they said.

So they spread a cloth upon the ground, and
every one threw down upon it the jewels which
he had taken, — the golden earrings and _nose-
rings, and the chains which had hung upon the
camels’ necks, and the fine purple robes which
the chiefs had worn. And Idol Breaker melted
the gold, and made a golden image, and set it
up in the Town.of the Fawn, where the wooden
idol had stood which he had broken in pieces
when he was a young man.

“Now we shall. have peace,” said the people;
and they came up from all the country round,
and fell down upon their knees before the golden
image, and thanked it for giving them the victory
over their enemies, and setting their country free.

“What a sad place this world was when we
had no idol to befriend us!” they said. “If our
first idol had not been so badly treated, the Arabs
would not have come into the land at all. But
now we shall make amends for our wrongdoing,
and this golden image will always protect us.”

And so Gideon — for that was his real name —
was no longer called Idol Breaker; for he had now
become an idol maker, and had given the people
a golden image in place of the ugly wooden one
which he had destroyed.

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li

THE STORY OF SPLENDID SUN.

I, THE WANDERERS.

.From very early times there had lived in certain
parts of the Promised Land a rude people who had
once had no settled homes, but had strolled about
from place to place as their fancy pleased them.
On account of their roving habits they had been
given the name of Wanderers, or, in the language
of the land, Philistines; and, even after they had
begun to build cities and have houses and gardens
of their own, their neighbors. still called them by
that name.

“This is the fairest land in all the world,” they
said to themselves. “Let us stop wandering about,
and dwell here forever.”

Many years passed by, and then there came into
the same country a great host of people who called
themselves Israelites, or the Children of the Prince,
and who said that they were from the Land of the
Nile.

160
161

“What are you doing in our land?” said the
Children of the Prince to the Wanderers.

“That is a strange question,” said the Wan-
derers; “for, lo! our fathers before us dwelt here,
and planted these vineyards, and built these towns;
and we ourselves were born here, and these have
been our homes all our lives. By what right, then,
do you call this land yours? We might better ask,
‘What are you doing in our land?’”

“Five hundred years ago,” answered the Children
of the Prince, “our gréat ancestor Abraham, the
Father of Nations, abode in this country; and the
God whom he worshiped promised him that all
these green hills and rich valleys and grassy plains
should belong to his children, and his children’s
children, forever. Now, we are his children’s chil-’
dren, and according to God’s promise this land is
ours. So move out at once, and let us have that
which is our own.”

“Nay,” said the Wanderers, “we will not move
out, for the country is our own.”

Then the Children of the Prince fought with
the Wanderers, and gained many battles, and took
their fairest cities, and made themselves houses
in the land. And in the course of time the Wan-
derers had only a few towns that they could call
their own; and they lived mostly among the

STO. OF THE EAST— II
162

mountains, or in the western part of the land not
far from the Great Sea.

But the Children of the Prince, when they found
themselves settled at last in the Promised Land,
did many unwise things. They forgot that it was
the God of their great father Abraham who had
blessed them and given them their pleasant homes;
and they no longer worshiped him, but made |
themselves idols of wood and stone and metal, and |
said, — ‘

“How good our idols are! We could never
have prospered but for them. Let us worship
them, and thank them for what they have done
for us.” j

But those senseless images could not help them
against their enemies; and when the God of their
fathers had withdrawn his aid, what could they do?
The Wanderers again made war upon them; and
now the Children of the Prince lost every battle.
The Wanderers won back their towns and many
of their choicest places in the West. .

“What are you doing in our land?” they said to
the Children of the Prince.

Very soon they were the masters of the country
once more; and they treated the Children of the
Prince very cruelly, and oppressed them for many
years, and gave them but little peace.
163

“We shall see whose land this is,” they said.

Then the Children of the Prince began to remem-
ber the God of their fathers, and they cried to him
for help.

Il. THE STRANGER.

In the hill country not very far from the sea-
coast there lived a farmer and his wife who were
proud of being called Israelites, or Children of the
Prince. They often talked of their great ancestors
who had lived in times now long past, — of Abraham,
the Father of Nations; of Israel, the Prince, who
had lived in the Land of the Nile; and of Moses, the
Lawgiver, who had led their people to the Promised
Land. Then, when they thought of how their
kinsmen were being oppressed and enslaved by the
Wanderers, their hearts were filled with grief; and
they thought, that, if they only had a son, they
would train him up to be a hero, so that he would
by and by set his countrymen free: for among
all the Children of the Prince there was now
not a man that dared lift his hand against their
oppressors.

One day when the farmer’s wife was alone, a
stranger stopped at the gate to talk with her. He
told her that a son would soon be born to her, and
that this son would grow up to be a mighty hero,
" 164

and would begin to free the land from the race
of strangers that had held it so long.

“But the child must be brought up with great
care,” he said. “You must never cut his hair; and
he must never taste of wine, or of any strong drink,
or of any unclean thing.”

The woman was very glad; and, when her husband
came home in the evening, she told him all about:it.

“Why didn’t you have the stranger stay all night
with us, so that I might ask him how we shall teach
the child?” he said.

“Ah! he was gone before I could ea she
answered.

The next day, as the woman was working in the
field, she saw the stranger passing by, and-she ran
and told her husband. The man hurried out quickly,
and met the stranger in the road.

“ Are you the man who spoke to my wife at the
gate yesterday?” he said.

“Tam,” said the stranger.

“Then come in and teach us how we shall train
up the son that is to be born to us,” said the good
- farmer; “for we would that he should grow up to
be the deliverer of his country.”

“T have already told your wife what must be
done,” said the stranger. “His hair must never be
shorn, and no wine nor strong drink nor unclean
thing must ever touch his lips. ~ There is nothing
more to say.”

“ Well, then,” said the farmer, “you must come in
and eat with us. I am just going to kill a fat kid,
and if you will wait till I have dressed it, and my
wife has roasted it, we will have a good feast.”

“No, indeed!” said the stranger, “I will not eat
a mouthful. But it seems to me, that, instead of eat-
ing the kid, you ought to give it as a thank offering
to Heaven for the good news which I have brought
you.”

“ That is what I will do,” said the farmer. ‘“ But
since you will not eat with us, pray tell us your
name, so that when the boy has grown up, and has
become a great hero, we may remember you, and
give you honor.”

“ My name is a secret,” said the stranger; “and I
will not tell it to you.” |

Then the farmer took the kid and killed it; and
after that, he laid some dry wood on a flat rock
before his house. And he put the kid on the top
of the wood, and then set fire to it. He thought
that when the smell of the burning meat went up to
the clouds and the sky, God would be pleased with
his thank offering. The smoke rose thick and black
from the kindling wood, and the farmer and his
wife stood a little way off to watch it; but the
166

stranger staid close to the rock. Soon the flames
burst out, and the fat of the kid took fire, and blazed
up high. Then the farmer and his wife noticed the
stranger, how bright and shining was his face, and
how his clothing glittered like the sun. And the
flames shot up very high,—so high that the man
and woman said that they reached héaven itself;
but when they looked down at the rock again, the
stranger was nowhere to be seen.

“ He was an angel!” cried the woman.

“Yes, I know he was an angel,” said the man.

“ And he went right up in the flames to the sky,”
said the woman.

“Yes, that is where he went,” said the man; “and
now we shall surely die, for nobody can see an
angel and live.”

“Tut, tut!” said the woman. “Didn’t you see
how our thank offering was carried to the sky? _ I
guess we shall not die very soon after that. And
then, what was the use of the angel coming and
telling us all those things, if we are not going to
live to see them come true?”

“Ill, THE RIDDLE.

Not very long after that, a little boy was born in
the farmer’s house; and his face was so fair, and his
eyes were so bright, that they named him Splendid
167

Sun, or, in their own language, Samson. He wasa
very strong, hearty child, and he grew fast, and was
the delight and wonder of the household. But his
mother never allowed a hair of his head to be shorn,
or any wine or strong drink or unclean food to touch
his lips. As soon as he was old enough to do so, he
helped ‘with the work in the fields; and his father
taught him about the cruel wrongs which his people
had suffered at the hands of their rulers.

When he was only a lad, Splendid Sun aston-
ished everybody with his great strength. Once he
went down into the camp of the Wanderers near
the town of Dan, and wrestled with the giant sol-
diers there; and after that he was the talk of the
whole country.

One day, when Splendid Sun had become a tall |
young man, he made a visit to the town of Tim-
nath among the hills, and became acquainted with
a number of young Wanderers there. They seemed
to him to be pretty good fellows; and, as they
praised him and feasted him and treated him
royally, he began to think that they were even
better than his poor oppressed countrymen. Then
he met a beautiful girl, the daughter of a rich
Wanderer; and she promised to marry him if their
parents could agree as to her price. For wives
had to be bought in those times.
168

Splendid Sun hastened home, and told his father
and mother what a fine time he had had in the town,
and how the pretty Wanderer maiden had agreed
to be his wife.

“I never saw a woman that pleased me so much,”
he said. “Her father wants a high price for her,
but she is well worth it. Get her for me.”

His father and mother were not well pleased, and
they said, “Is there no maiden among the daugh-
. ters of our kinsmen or among all our own people,
that you must needs go and choose a Wanderer
for a wife?” .

But Splendid Sun would not listen. He did
nothing every day but talk of the beautiful maiden;
and he kept saying to his father, “ Get her for me,
for she pleases me.”

At last he persuaded his father and mother to go
up to the town with him and see the maiden for
themselves. They went up on foot, through the
wild hill country, and came at last to a place just
outside of Timnath where there were great thickets
of wild grapevines. Splendid Sun was in great
haste. He walked very fast, and left his parents
far behind. All at once a lion sprang out from
among the tangled vines, and rushed furiously upon
the young man. He had nothing in his hand to
defend himself with; but he seized the beast, and



HE SEIZED THE BEAST, AND PULLED ITS JAWS APART.

CHAS: Kise .

(269)
170

pulled its jaws apart, and_tore it in pieces, as easily
as other men would have torn a rabbit. Then
he tossed the body among the bushes, and went
on as though nothing had happened. He did not
even tell his father and mother about it.

When they reached the town and saw the maiden,
they were well pleased with her, for she was not
only fair, but lovable. Splendid Sun’s father agreed
to get her for him, and a day was set for the wed-
ding. But his mother grieved becausé he had not
found a maiden among his own people; for, she
thought, how now would he become a hero, and
deliver his land from oppression ?

A few weeks afterwards the young man and his
parents went up to Timnath again; and this time
there was to be a wedding feast, and they would
take the maiden back with them. As they were
passing through the grapevine thicket, Splendid
Sun turned aside to see what had become of the
dead lion. There was nothing left of it but its skele-
ton; but a swarm of bees had built a nest among
the bones, and in it was a big piece of honeycomb
full of honey. He took the honeycomb in his hand
and went on, eating as he walked. When he over-
took his parents, he gave them a part of it, but he
said nothing about the place where he had found it.

Splendid Sun made a great feast in the town, for
171

which his father had to pay, and he invited all the
young Wanderers whom he knew. That was the
way which young men did in that country. The
feast was to last seven days, and then the bride was
to be given to her husband. Thirty gay young fel-
lows sat at the table with Splendid Sun; and they
sang songs and told stories, and amused themselves
in many ways. But not a drop of wine or of strong
drink did Splendid Sun taste; and as he stood before
his guests, with his long hair falling in seven plaits
down his back, all the Wanderers admired him.

“ Now,” said he to the thirty young men, “I will
tell you a riddle. If you can guess it within the
seven days of the feast, I will give you thirty sheets
and thirty fine suits of clothing. If you cannot
guess it, then you shall give me thirty sheets and
thirty fine suits of clothing.”

“Agreed!” cried the young men. “Let us
hear it!”

Then he gave them this riddle: “ Out of the
eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came
forth sweetness.” .

For three days they tried to guess the answer,
but they could not think of anything that seemed to
be right. Then they went to the young bride, and
said, “Find out this riddle for us. If you don't,
we'll burn your father’s house, and you too, with
172

fire. Do you take us for fools, that we should let
this underling rob us in this way im For the suits
of clothing were very costly.

Then the maiden wept bitterly, and Splendid Sun
was much troubled, and asked her what was the
matter.

“You are a cruel fellow,” she said ; “and you do
not love me at all. Here you have given a riddle
to your guests, and have not told me the answer.
You are hard-hearted.” |

“My dear girl,” he said, “I have not told it
even to father or mother; and should I tell it
to you?”

Then she wept harder than ever; did she’ kept
on weeping until the seventh and last day of the
feast. And when Splendid Sun saw how sad a
wedding he was going to have, he at last gave up,
and told her; and she dried her tears, and went
and told the young men. In the evening, when the
feast was at an end, Splendid Sun said, —

‘‘ How now about those thirty suits of clothing?
Have you found out the riddle ?”

And the young men laughed, and said, “ What
is sweeter than honey, and what is stronger than
a lion?” :

“You would not have found that out if you had
dealt fairly with me,” said Splendid Sun.
“What was he to do now? He could not take his
bride home until this wager was paid. He had no
money. His father had no money, for he had
spent it all to pay for the maiden and for this feast.
Splendid Sun was angry at the young Wanderers,
and he was vexed with the fair girl who had caused
all the trouble.

That very night he went out to another town of
the Wanderers, and stole thirty suits of clothing,
and came back and gave them to the men who had
gained the wager. It is even said that he killed
thirty men, and took the garments from their backs;
and I am sorry to believe that he was so wicked.
He was so angry that he would not look at the
maiden, but left her with her kinsfolk, and went
back to his father’s house.

IV. THE FOXES.

Splendid Sun soon began to understand how
very foolish he had been; and as the days passed by
he longed to see his young bride and ask her par-
don. But he was ashamed to go up to her father’s
house, and he was afraid that she would laugh
at him and despise him. About the time of the
wheat harvest, however, when the grain was stand-
ing yellow and ripe in the fields, he made up his
174

mind that he would go and claim her as his wife,
and bring her home. He had no presents of jewelry
or gold to take to her; but he carried under his
arm a beautiful pet kid, which he felt sure. would
please her, and make her forget his folly.

But when he came to the house in Timnath and
asked to see his bride, her father told him: that she
was not there. —

“Truly,” he said, “we thought that you hated her,
and that you would never come to see her again;
and so I gave her to one of your friends, and she is
wedded to him. But, see here! Don’t you think
that her younger sister is fairer than she? You
may have this sister if you want her, and I will
give you my blessing besides; for I would not
have you too greatly disappointed.”

Splendid Sun was so angry that he did not stop
to make any answer. He turned away, and started
homeward at once, feeling very bitter against the
Wanderers, and trying to think of some way in
which he could punish them for the injury they had
done him. As he passed through the vineyards
and wheat fields, he noticed that the stalks of grain
and the grass and the leaves were very dry; for it
was midsummer, and it had not rained for a long
time.

“TI know what I'll do,” said he. “I will revenge
175

myself upon those young Wanderers for all the
harm they have done to me; and I will not be
half as wicked as they are, either.”

So, instead of going home, he turned aside into -
the place where the wild grapevines grew, and
began to set traps for foxes. There were a great
many foxes in that neighborhood, and nobody knew
how to catch them better than he. The next morn-
ing he came back, and found the traps full. All
together, he and the men whom he brought with
him took three hundred of the animals alive and
unhurt. Then. they tied them together in couples,
and put a firebrand between each couple, and ‘set
them loose in the fields) The maddened foxes
rushed hither and thither with the burning brands,
and soon set fire not only to the standing wheat, but
to the shocks of harvested grain and the vineyards
and the olive orchards. It was all that the farmers
could do to save anything from the flames.

The next day, as they looked over their black
and smoking fields, they began to ask who it was
that had started the fire.

“It was Splendid Sun,” said one who had seen
him tying the brands to the foxes.

“Why should he do this great wrong to us?”
they asked.

“He did it because his bride was taken from
176

him, and given to one of the young men who
had pretended to be friendly to him,” was the
answer.

The farmers were very angry, and vowed that
they would punish not only Splendid Sun, but
everybody that had had a hand in leading him to
do this thing. They were afraid of Splendid Sun,
and were in no hurry to follow him home. But
when night came, they raised a mob of idle fellows,
and went up into the town, and set fire to the
house in which the young bride lived; and both
she and her father were burned to death in the
flames.

When Splendid Sun heard what had been done,
he was wild with grief and anger.

“T will punish those Wanderers yet!” he cried;
“and when I have made them suffer enough for
all the misery they have caused me, then I will
let them alone.”

That very day he went into the town, and fell
upon the leaders of the mob and upon the thirty
young men, and smote them with great slaughter.
After that, he knew that all the country’ would
be up in arms against him; and so he fled hastily
from the place, and made his home on the top of
a rocky hill called Etam, some miles to the north-
ward. Most of the people in that neighborhood
177

were of his own race, and proudly called them-
selves Israelites, or the Children of the Prince;
but they had been ruled over and oppressed by
the Wanderers for so many years, that they had
lost all courage and all hope. For a time he was
quite safe in his stronghold, and he made many
friends among those who lived in the valleys below
him. Soon, however, his enemies learned where
‘he was, and sent a great army out to capture
him.

The poor Children of the Prince were very much
frightened when this army marched into their
country and camped in their fields.

“What have we done, that you should come up
against. us in this way?” they asked.

“We are after Splendid Sun,” the Wanderers
said. “We are going to capture him, and take
him back with us, and punish. him; and if you
don’t help us take him, you shall suffer for it.”

Then three thousand men of the Children of
the Prince went out to Etam Hill, and called to
Splendid Sun, and talked with him.

“Do you know that the Wanderers are our
masters?” they asked. “And why do you come
among us, and make them hate us?”

“T only revenged myself upon them for the
harm which they did to me,” said Splendid Sun, —

STO. OF THE EAST—I2
178

“But that isn’t the question,” they said. “If
we don’t give you up to them, they will burn our
town, and kill us, and make slaves of our children.
Won’t you let us bind you and take you to them,
so that they will do us no harm?”

“Promise me,” he said, “that you will not try
to hurt or kill me.”

And they promised.

Then he went down the hill, and let them bind
him with two new cords that were very strong.
And they carried him and gave him to the captain
of the Wanderers’ army.

The Wanderers were glad when they saw Splen-
did Sun in their power, and they began to shout,
and throw stones at him, and boast of what would
be done to him when they had taken him back.
But Splendid Sun stretched out his arms and his
legs, and the cords flew in pieces as though they _
had been burned. He struck right and left, and.
his enemies fled for their lives. Then he found
a strong bone on the ground, the jawbone of some
animal that had lately been killed. He picked it up,
and fell upon the Wanderers in earnest. The cow-
ardly fellows were taken by surprise, and not one of
them dared face about and withstand him. That
jawbone did wonders in his hands. The whole
army was routed, and a thousand of his enemies
179

were left dead on the field. There never was such
another battle.

When it was all over, Splendid Sun threw the
bone upon the ground, and sat down to rest. But
he was almost dead with thirst, and he had followed
his foes far away from the wells where water was
to be found. The sun shone hot upon him, and
he thought he was going to die.

“ What is the use of my strength now?” he said.
“T shall die here of thirst, and my foes will laugh
over me.” ;

He looked at the jawbone lying in the sand a
little way off. Something close to it sparkled in
the sunlight. It did not look like sand, but like
water. He got up and went closer. Yes, there
was a spring of .cool water, bubbling up right
under the bone. He was saved.

Soon a great company of the Children of the
Prince came out to meet him. The men had armed
themselves with whatever they could find; and they
said, “ If you will be our captain, we will follow you, |
and fight against the Wanderers who have ouES
our people for so many years.”

Splendid Sun was now at the head of a strong
army. The Wanderers dared not stand against
them anywhere; and before another year the Chil-
dren of the Prince were a free people. They were
180

very grateful to Splendid Sun for what he had done
for them; and fey chose him to be their chief and
lawgiver.

And he was Hee chief and lawgiver for twenty
years.

V. THE SECRET.

The Wanderers were very much afraid of Splendid
Sun, and they tried in every way to get him- in their
‘power. Once he disguised himself and went down
into one of their cities. His enemies learned that
he was there, and lay in wait all night to catch him
when he should come out to the city gate in the
' morning. But he arose earlier than they expected;
and when he found the gate closed against him, he
picked it up, and pulled up the two gate posts, and
carried all to the top of a hill in his own land.

Near the border of Splendid Sun’s country there
lived a fair woman named Dainty, or, as they called
her in their own language, Delilah; and Splendid
Sun went often to see her. The: rulers of the
Wanderers knew.that she had great influence over
him, and so they promised to give her eleven
hundred pieces of silver if she would find out:
the secret of his strength. She pretended that
she thought a great deal of him, and he was
foolish enough to believe her.
181

’

“Come now, Splendid Sun,” she said one day,
“tell me what makes you so strong, and how
you can be made weak like other men.”

Splendid Sun laughed, for he did not mean
to part with his secret.

“Oh, tie me with seven green withes,” he said,
“and then I shall be as weak as any other man.”

She told the rulers;what he had said, and they
gave her seven green withes that were long and
strong; and armed men hid themselves in her
house, ready to seize him as soon as his strength
passed from him. The next day she bound him
tight and strong with the withes, and when every-
thing was ready, she cried out, “Your enemies
are upon you, Splendid Sun!” He stretched his
arms, and the withes were broken in pieces as
" easily as you can break a thread.

Dainty complained bitterly because he had not
told her the truth. ‘“ You have mocked me,” she
said. “Now, tell me truly how I can bind you so
as to hold you fast. It is all in fun, you know.”

Splendid Sun laughed again. “Oh, well,” he
said, “if you must have that kind of sport, then
tie me with new ropes that have never been used.”

She told the rulers, and they gave her three
new ropes that had never been used. And the
next day she bound him with them until it seemed
182

as if he could never move. Then she cried out,
“Your enemies are here, Splendid Sun!” He
stretched his arms, and the ropes were snapped
in a hundred pieces.

“O Splendid Sun!” said Dainty, “you are so
cruel. You never tell me the truth, and you don’t
care anything for me at all.” -

“Well, then, I will tell you,” said he.” “ To-mor-
row you may weave the seven locks of my hair in
your loom, and then I shall be'as weak as a child.”

The next day he lay asleep on a couch by the
loom, and she wove the seven locks -of his long
hair in the cloth which she was making, and then
fastened it all with a huge pin. Certainly she
would hold him this time. Then she cried out,
“Here come your enemies, Splendid Sun!” He
woke up quickly, and walked away with the loom, ©
the pin, and the cloth upon his shoulder.

Dainty did not like it at all when she found that
he had not yet told her the truth.

“Oh, why do you mock me?” she said. “These
three times you have told me false. You are cruel!
You laugh at me!”

And every day after that, she teased him and
pressed him with her words, until he was vexed
almost to death. At last, to get rid of her teasing,
he told her the truth.




SHE WOVE THE SEVEN LOCKS OF HIS LONG HAIR IN THE CLOTH.

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184

‘‘Never in my life,” said he, “has a hair of my
head been cut or shorn; and never has wine or any
strong drink touched my lips. If my head were
shaven, then I would be as weak as any other man.”

Dainty felt sure that he had told her the truth
this time, and she sent word to the rulers of the
Wanderers to come up. They came, and brought
the eleven hundred pieces of silver, and hid them-
selves in her house. The nextday when Splendid
Sun went to sleep, she had a man ready to clip
off the seven long plaits of hair. Then she
screamed out, —

_ “Your enemies are upon you, Splendid Sun!”

He awoke quickly, but all his strength had left
him. The Wanderers rushed in upon him and
seized him; and, although he fought bravely, he
was no stronger than one of them. Then they
put out his eyes, and took him down to their city
of Gaza, and chained him with chains of brass.

After that, for a long time, they made him grind
corn as a slave in the prison house. °

VI. THE TEMPLE.

It seemed as though there was no longer any
hope for Splendid Sun. Yet in a little while his
hair began to grow; and the longer it grew, the
185

stronger he became. His enemies never thought
of that, however.

One day they had a great feast in the temple of
their god Dagon, and everybody in Gaza was there.
They said that it was Dagon that had shown them
how to take Splendid Sun, and so they had made
the feast as a sort of thanksgiving in his. honor.
Everybody wanted to see the strong man who had
done so much mischief to the Wanderers: hence
he was to be taken into the temple, where they
would make a kind of public show of him. It is
likely that they intended to torture him, and then
offer him to Dagon as a sacrifice.

And so, when the people were all feeling very
merry, and there was a great crowd in the temple,
and three thousand men and boys were on the
roof looking down, they called for Splendid Sun.
To show how weak and harmless he had become,
he was brought out of the prison house by a little
boy. The boy led him up the steps, in the sight of
all the people, and put him between the two great
middle posts of the temple. The blind hero reached
out with his hands and felt of the posts.

“Are these the middle posts of the temple?”
he asked.

“Yes, they are the posts that hold up the roof,”
said the boy.
186

Then Splendid Sun took hold of the posts, one
with his right hand, and one with his left.

“Let me die with my enemies,” he said.

And he bowed himself with all his might; and
the roof fell upon all that were within the temple,
and they were crushed to death. And it was a
common saying in his country after that, that
Splendid Sun slew more people at his death than
he had ever slain in his lifetime.




A STORY OF HARVEST TIME.

I. THE GLEANER. =

On every side of the town of Bethlehem, as far
as one could see, there were fields after fields of
waving yellow grain. No man could remember
that there had ever been so fine a crop of barley
and wheat; no man could call to mind the time
when the land was so full of plenty.

“Truly, our town is well called Bethlehem, or
the House of Bread,” said the people one to
’ ‘another as they went about their tasks; “for here
we have food enough for ourselves, and to spare.”

Before the sun had risen above the hills, and
while yet the dew lingered among the grass, the
harvesters were at their work. With their hook-
shaped sickles they cut the grain handful by
handful, and laid it in uneven swaths upon the
ground; and as they kept time.with one another,
they chanted a song of thanksgiving and praise
to the Sender of the harvest, the Giver of good

187
188

gifts, the Lord of the earth and sky. After them
came the boys and young men who had not yet
learned to handle the sickle,—some to gather up
the swaths into bundles, and others to bind the ©
bundles into sheaves.

Following these were the gleaners, the poor peo-
ple of the village, and the strangers who were with-

out homes in the land; for it was a law in that

country that all the loose grain that was upon the
ground, and all that was left:uncut by the reapers,
should belong to the needy and the homeless.

It was still early in the day, when some one cried
out, “ The master is coming!”

All eyes were turned ‘towards the entrance to
the field. The reapers ceased their chant; they
stood up and wiped the sweat from their brows;-
they rested the points of their sickles upon the
ground. Adown the road came Boaz, the owner
of the field, a portly, middle-aged man, walking
leisurely, as though well pleased with himself and
with all the world beside. He was:the richest man
in the town, and one of its rulers. The fields
on either side of the road were his; the great
house just over the brow of the hill was his
home; the men and boys who were harvesting
the grain were his servants. He was indeed a
great man.
189

He walked across the field towards the place

where his men were waiting.
“The Lord be with you!” he said.

And they answered him, “ The Lord bless thee!”

Then the reapers thrust their sickles among the
grain again, and the harvest song was chanted
louder and cheerier than before, as all hands moved
slowly across the field.

‘ Hearken to me, Nathan,” said the master, calling
to his head servant. “Hearken to me, Nathan, for
I would fain speak to thee.”

“What is it, my master?” said the servant; and
he gave his sickle into the hands of a young man,
and ran back to where Boaz was standing.

“Whose damsel is this that gleans the wheat
so timidly, and seems to be a stranger to the har-
vest field?” .

And the head servant answered, “My master, it
is the damsel that came back with Naomi, your
kinswoman, from the land of the strangers beyond
the river Jordan.” |

“Indeed!” said the great man. “I had not heard
of her. Tell me all that you know.”

“You no doubt remember,” said the head’ servant,
“that in the year of the great famine many of our
people crossed over into the land of the strangers ;
for there was much grain on the other side of the






“My MASTER, IT IS THE DAMSEL THAT CAME BACK WITH NAOMI.”


IQ!

river, while at home there was none at all. Among
the last that went was your cousin Elimelech, with
his wife Naomi and her two sons. They were so
well pleased with the country and the people, that
they staid there, and did not come home again when
the famine was at an end. But soon Elimelech
died, and the two sons took to themselves wives
of the fair daughters of the land. Then the sons
also died, and Naomi was left alone with her two
daughters-in-law. They were very, very poor; for
their husbands had been only sojourners in the
land, and their goods and all that they had were
taken by their creditors. Then Naomi said to the
two young women, ‘I will go back into my own
country, to Bethlehem, the House of Bread ; for my
kinsfolk dwell there, and I have heard that the Lord
has visited his people, and given them great plenty.
There I can work with my hands, and satisfy all
my needs. And the two young women said, ‘We
also will go with thee. But Naomi said, ‘ Nay,
but stay with your kindred. Go, each to her
mother’s house. The Lord deal kindly with you,
as ye have dealt with the dead and with me! The
Lord grant you that you may find rest, each in the
house of her husband!’ Then she kissed them, and
‘they all wept together. And the young women
said, ‘ Surely, we will go back with you to your own
“192

people. . But Naomi said, ‘Not so, my daughters.
Turn again, for you shall not go with me. Then
the elder of the damsels kissed her, and returned to
her own mother; but the younger, whose name is
Ruth, said, ‘Entreat me not to leave thee: for
whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou
lodgest, I will lodge. Thy people shall be my
people, and thy God my God; and where thou diest
will I die, and there will I be buried.’ So, when
Naomi saw that Ruth was so. minded as not to be
put off, she allowed her to come with her. And
now, behold, they have been only a few days in
Bethlehem, and they are very poor. And this
morning as I came with the reapers to the field,
the damsel Ruth met. me by the roadside, and
said, ‘I pray thee, let me glean and gather after
the reapers among the sheaves!’ And I said,
“Come, for my master is kind, and he turneth no
one away. So sie came, and has followed the
reapers until now.’

“Thou hast well spoken,” said Boaz to the head
servant. ‘Go now back to thy work, and bid the
young men let her glean among the sheaves, and
molest her not; and let fall some of the handfuls
on purpose for her, and leave them that she may
glean the more.”

Then he called to Ruth, and said, “ Hearest
193

thou not, my daughter? Let thine eyes be on
the reapers, and do thou glean that which they
leave behind. And when thou art athirst, go unto
the vessels, and drink of that which the young men
have drawn.”

Then Ruth, trembling and blushing, bowed her
face to the ground, and said to the great man,
“Why should you show me so great kindness, see-
ing that I am a stranger in this land?”

And the great man said, “I have heard of thy
kindness to Naomi, thy mother-in-law; and how
thou hast left thine own kindred and thy native
land, and art come among a people who are
strangers to thee. The Lord recompense thee!
The Lord keep thee and protect thee!” |

And Ruth thanked him for his kindness, and
followed on after the workmen. And when the
luncheon time came, Boaz asked her to sit down
with the reapers and eat of their bread; and he
handed her the parched corn, and bade her dip her
morsel in the cooling wine. ,

‘So she gleaned in the field until evening; and
then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was
about a bushel of barley.

When she went back to her lodgings in the town,
her mother-in-law asked her where she had been,
that she had gleaned so much. And Ruth said, “I

STO. OF THE EAST— 13
194

have been in the fields of the great man who is
called Boaz; and he was very kind to me.”

And Naomi told her that Boaz was one of their
nearest kinsmen, and said, “ Blessed may he be! for
he has not left off his kindness to the living and
the dead.”

And Ruth gleaned every saa in the fields at Boaz,
by the side of his maidens, until the barley harvest
and the wheat harvest were ended.

“IL THE HARVEST FEAST.

Now, Naomi was busy every day planning how
she might make her daughter-in-law happy; and
she thought, that if she could only persuade the rich
man Boaz to marry the damsel, there could be no
better fortune. But how could she bring this about,
seeing that Ruth was so very poor, and withal a
stranger in the land?

There was a curious custom in these times that
was intended to keep the property of a family from
going to others when the husband happened to die,
as had Ruth’s husband, without leaving children.
In such case, the nearest relative was in honor
bound to marry the widow. And so Naomi thought
that if Boaz should be reminded of his kinship,
and of his duty to marry Ruth, he would be glad
195

to take her; if not because of her beauty and good-
ness, then for the sake of her dead husband’s estate,
that might be saved, and kept in the family. While
Ruth was gleaning in the fields, Naomi was think-
ing how all this might be brought about.

At last the harvest was ended, and the barley was
all winnowed; and Boaz had a great feast on his
threshing floor; and master and servants and neigh-
bors all met together and rejoiced. That night
Naomi took care that Ruth should dress herself in
her most beautiful garments, and then she arranged
that the damsel and Boaz should meet at the close
of the feast.

And Ruth told Boaz of his kina ¢ to her dead
husband; and all her words were'words of maidenly
modesty, but they brought ‘about the very ‘thing
that Naomi had planned and desired. The great
man listened with delight; and, although he knew
that there was one man who was nearer of° kin
than himself, he made up his mind that he would
marry the maiden, if at the same time he might
do that which was right.. As for Ruth, she has-
tened back to her lodgings, and told Naomi all
that Boaz had said.

' “Rejoice, my daughter,” said the mother-in-law,
“for surely the man will not rest until he has fin-
ished this matter by making thee his wife.”
196

“Ill. THE WEDDING.

Early the next morning Boaz went up to the gate
of the town, and sat down there; for-that was the
place in which the men were wont to meet to settle
all kinds of business and all disputes.

By and by the man came by whom he wished to
see; and he cried out to him, “Ho! friend and
kinsman, turn aside and sit down here.”

And the man turned aside and sat down.

Then they called ten of the elders of the city, and
said, “Sit ye down here, and judge concerning the
matter that is between us.”

And the elders came and sat down.

Then Boaz said to the man whom he had first
called,“ You no doubt remember our cousin Elime-
lech, who went away from our town during the time
of the great famine, and how he died in a strange
land, leaving a widow, Naomi, and two sons.”

And the man said, “ Yes, I remember.”

“Perhaps you have also heard,” said Boaz, “ that
the two sons, after marrying wives, also died, with- .
out leaving any children.”

“Yes, I have heard that also,” said the man.

“Very well, then,” said Boaz. “Now, everybody
in Bethlehem knows that Elimelech was the owner
of a fine piece of land just outside of the town.
197

Naomi, who has lately come back to her own people,
wishes to sell this land; and, unless the kinsmen
of Elimelech will redeem it, it will be lost to the
family. I need not tell you, my friend, that you
are the nearest kinsman, while I stand only in the
second place; and so you have the first right to
redeem it. Will you redeem it, or will you not?”

And the man said, “I will redeem it.”

Then Boaz said, “In the day that you buy it
of Naomi, you must also take her daughter-in-law
. Ruth for your wife; for such is the custom and the
law among us.”

And the kinsman said, “ Then I cannot redeem
it, and I give up to you all my claims and rights as
akinsman. Buy it, if you wish, for yourself.”

Now, it was the custom in those old times, that,
when a bargain was made, the man agreeing to it
should loose his shoe, and give it to the other
in the presence of the elders of the town. So
Boaz loosed his shoe, and gave it to his kinsman.
Then he said to the elders, —

“You are witnesses this day that I buy all the
land that belonged to my cousin Elimelech and to
his two sons, who are dead. I buy also, as my wife,
the damsel Ruth, the widow of the younger of the two
sons, whom he married in the land of the strangers.
Of all this, you are the witnesses this day.”
/

198

And all the people that were in the gate, as well
as the ten elders who sat there, answered, “ We are
witnesses.”

Then they gave him congratulations, and wished
him many blessings, and prayed that Ruth might
also be blessed, and that their family might bring
honor to their country and be famous in Bethlehem.
And the women hastened to visit Naomi to tell her
how glad they were that all things had turned out
so well; and they commended Ruth for her beauty
and her goodness and her faithfulness, and said that .
she was better than seven sons.

And so Boaz and Ruth were married according
to the customs of the time, and they lived together
happily for many years in the great house which
Boaz built in the town of Bethlehem. And trav-
elers in the East are still shown the spot on which
that house stood; for it is the spot where, a thou-

- sand years later, the Christ child was born.




THE SHEPHERD BOY WHO BECAME KING.

I. THE SEER.

Near the village called Bethlehem, or the House
of Bread, there lived an old man who had eight
sons. I do not know how-rich he was, but his
neighbors called him Jesse,.a word which in their
language meant Wealth. His grandfather, whose
name was Boaz, had been one of the great men of
the place; and his grandmother, whose name was
Ruth, had been famous for her Bpocees and
beauty.

One day word was brought to the village that a
certain great man was passing that way, and would
stop perhaps for a day or two. This great man
was a seer, or prophet, and he had been the real
ruler of the country for many years. Everybody
regarded him with great awe, for it was thought
that he had all his power directly from God. Even
the King was afraid to do. anything without first
asking his leave. So, when the people of the House

~ 199
200

of Bread heard that Seer Samuel, as he was called,
was coming to their village, they were much alarmed,
and began to wonder what they had done that he
did not approve. While he was yet on the road,
they. sent some of their chief men to meet him,
and find out what he wanted them to do. The men
were very glad when they saw that he was coming
alone, leading a young white heifer; for that did
not look as though he meant to do them harm.

“Do you come peaceably?” they asked.

“JT have come to slay this heifer in your village,
and so make a thank offering to Heaven,” he an-
swered.

“We are glad that you have seen fit so to honor
us,” they said, “and if you are willing, we would
like to help you to make this offering.”

“JT want the man whom you call Wealth to help
me,” said the Seer. “ Let him come with his sons,
but let every one else stand back.”

So Wealth and seven of his sons went up with
the Seer to the top of a hill by the village, and the
Seer laid his hands upon them and blessed them.
Then they built an altar with stones, and kindled a
fire upon it; and when they had killed the white
heifer, they burned parts of her body as a thank
offering. But the rest of the people stood a good
way off, and did not come near.
201

Then the Seer called each one of the seven
sons, beginning with the eldest, and had them pass
before him. The first was a tall and very hand-
some young man, and the Seer seemed much
pleased with him.

“Surely, he is noble enough to be our king,” he
said, and he began to unstop a horn of oil which he
held in his hand. Then he must have seen some-
thing in the young man’s eye which di not please
him; for he said, “ Pass on, I have no need of you.”

The second of the sons was also good-looking
and strong. But the Seer said, “This is not the
chosen one.”

And so it fared with the third and with all the
others. There was something about each one of
them which the Seer liked; but there was some-
thing that he disliked, too. When the last one had
been called up and then sent away, the Seer seemed
to be in great trouble.

“Surely, I thought to find a king among these
young men,” he said; “but not one of them is
chosen.”

Then he said to Wealth, “ Are all of your chil-
dren here?”

“All but one,” said Wealth. “The youngest,
whom we call Darling, is not here. He is only a
little fellow, and I didn’t think it worth while to
call him.” |
202

“ Where is he?” asked the Seer.

“He is tending the sheep in the valley over
yonder,” said Wealth. .

“Send and fetch him,” said the Seer; “and we
will not sit down till he comes.”

So they sent and brought the lad from the sheep -
pasture. He was a ruddy-faced boy, slender and
handsome, with eyes as sharp and bright as an
eagle's. The Seer was very much pleased when
he saw him.

“This is the chosen one,” he said.

Then he unstopped the horn that was in his
hand, and poured the oil on the lad’s head, and
blessed him.

“ Behold, I anoint thee to be king!” he said. Then
he turned to Wealth and the seven young men who
stood around wondering, and said, “See that you
tell no man of what has been done this day.”

And he took his staff in his hand, and walked
down the hill, and away towards his own home, and
never looked back. And the lad went back to his
sheep.

II. THE KING.

Some time after that, a great change came over
the King of the people who called themselves the
Children of the Prince. He seemed to have lost
203

his senses. He was cruel even to his best friends ;
and there were times when he was so wild that
nobody dared to go near him. The Seer said that
there was an evil spirit in him.

There was only one thing that seemed to please
him, and that was music. At the sound of a harp
he would become gentle and mild, and all a wild-
ness would leave him.

And so the best harpers in all the country were
invited to come and play before the King. All
went well for a time. So long as they played
sweet tunes, and made no discord, the King seemed
pleased, and listened quietly; but as soon as any
one struck a false”note he grew furious again, and
at last he drove them away from his palace.

Then some one said, “ Did you ever hear of the
young shepherd who keeps his father’s sheep in the
south valley? No one can play the harp so well as
he. Even the beasts like to listen to him.”

The King overheard what was said, and he asked,
‘Who is this young shepherd ?”

‘«¢ He is the son of the man who is called Wealth,”
was the answer.

“ Send and fetch him to me,” said the King.

And so messengers went down to the little village,
and told Wealth that the King wanted to see the
lad who tended the sheep, and who played so sweetly
204

on the harp. And the old man called the lad from
the pastures, and gave him a donkey loaded with
bread, and a bottle of wine, and a fat kid, and sent
him with them to the King. And the King was
much pleased when he saw him; for he was tall
and comely, and the music of the harp cheered his
heart until his madness left him, and he became as
gentle as a child.

“ The sound of the harp has driven the evil spirit
quite away,” said the Seer.

And the boy became the King’s page, and lived
for a whole year in the King’s house.

Ill], THE GIANT.

About this time a tribe of rude men called
Wanderers, or Philistines, came up from the south,
and began to overrun the country. The King
sent out his warriors against them, but they were
driven back. It looked as though every city and
field would fall into the hands of the Wanderers.
There was only one thing to be done: the King
himself must go out at the head of his army, and
give battle to his savage foes.

There was no longer any need for the young
page in the King’s household, for everybody was
too busy to listen to music now. So, with his
208

harp on his shoulder, he went back home, and
tended his father’s flock of sheep as he had done
before. But his older brothers went out as sol-
diers in the army of the King.

The Wanderers pitched their camp on the top
of a hill, and the Children of the Prince pitched
their camp on the top of another hill; and there
was a broad valley between them. Each army was
afraid of the other, and so neither wanted to begin
the battle. All day and all night they lay there,
making great boasts, but doing nothing.

In the morning a huge giant, who was the
* champion of the Wanderers, went out and stood
in the valley midway between the camps. He
was called the Exile, and he was more than ten
feet in height. He wore a helmet of brass upon
his head, and he was clad in a coat of mail which
was made of brass and weighed two or three
hundred pounds; and he had greaves of brass
on his legs and a target of brass between his
shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a long
beam, and its heavy iron point was as much as a
common man could lift.

This giant stood in the valley and cried out to
.the King’s army on the mountain top, “ What are -
you doing up there, you cowards? Look at me!
I am a Wanderer, and you are only slaves to a
/

206

King. But I will make an agreement with you.
Let one of your men come down and fight me. If
he can kill me, then all my followers will be your
slaves; but if I kill him, then you shall be our
slaves. Isn’t that fair enough? I dare the best man
among you to come down and fight with me!”
When the King and his warriors heard these "
words, and saw the big giant, they were very much
afraid; and not one of them dared make him any
answer. For forty days the two armies lay in camp

-on the hilltops, and every morning and evening

the Exile went down into the valley and made ‘the
same speech. The soldiers on both sides were
often drawn up in line of battle; but the chiefs
were afraid to begin the fight, and after awhile all
went back to their tents. =H

Things kept on in this way until food began to
be scarce. The Children of the Prince would have
suffered from hunger if their kinsmen at home had
not helped them; and the Wanderers would have
starved if they had not sent companies out to bring
in pillage from the farms.

Iv. THE CAMP.

One morning Wealth called to his son, the
shepherd lad, and said, “ Darling, I hear that the
King’s men have hardly enough to eat, and I am
207

afraid that your brothers are hungry. Suppose
you let one of the hired men take care of the
sheep to-day, while you go up to the camp and
see how they are getting on. You may take a
wagon with you; and you may put into it three
pecks of parched corn and ten loaves of bread for
your brothers. Put in ten cheeses, too, aS a pres-
ent to their captain. Find out how everything is
going on in the camp, and then come back and.
tell me.”

The lad was delighted to be sent upon such an
errand. He loaded the wagon with the corn and
the bread and the cheeses; and then, with a trusty
man to drive for him, he set off across the country
towards the camp. He had to take a roundabout
way, for he was afraid of meeting some of the small
bands of Wanderers that were out foraging. When
he reached the end of his journey, it was late in the
afternoon; and he found the two armies drawn up
in order of battle, each on its own hilltop. The
men on.both sides were making a great deal of
noise, shouting -back and forth, and beating their
shields; but that was about as near as they ever
‘got to a fight.

The lad left the wagon with the driver, and
hurried up the hill to the place where his three
brothers were standing. They were right glad
208

to see him; and when he told them about the
parched corn and the loaves, they thanked him
warmly.

While they stood Bitias on the brow of the
hill, the giant Exile came out into the valley and
made his speech. And all the men who were
nearest to him ran back, they were so- much
afraid. When the lad saw and heard him, he
said, —

“Why don’t some one of our men go down
and fight the fellow?”

“ Alas!” said his brothers, “there are no giants
among the Children of the Prince; and do you
think that any common man can stand up against
such a foe?”

“Has the King offered any reward to the man
who will kill him?” asked the lad.

“Ves,” they said. “He has offered to give him
a chest full of gold, and to let him choose the
fairest of the King’s daughters for his wife; and
he will make his father and his brothers rulers
among the people.”

“J don’t see how the King can offer more than
that,” said the lad. “I think I'll try my hand
against the giant myself.”

His big brothers laughed at him. “You proud
little upstart,” they said, “don’t you think you had
209

better go back home and look after your few
sheep?”

But some one who overheard him ran and told
the King, “ There is a young man up here, just from
the country, who says that he will fight the giant.
Wouldn’t it be well to let him try?”

The King sent for him at once; but, when he
saw that it was only his little ae he shook
his head. ;

us Darling,” he said, “you can play sweet music,
and are a very good page in times of peace; but
you. cannot fight.a giant like this Exile. Why,
you are only a boy, and he is a man of war, trained
to fight from his youth! You'd better keep well
out of his way.”

“ Great King,” said.the lad, “let me tell you what
I have done, and then you may judge whether I
am not strong enough to fight. Only a few days
ago, as I was tending my father’s sheep, there came
a bear out of the wood and took a lamb from the
flock. I leaped up and ran after him, and snatched
the lamb from his grasp, and killed him before he
could turn against me.”

“ That was a brave thing to do,” said the King;
“but this Exile is stronger than a bear.”

“ Well, I will tell you something else,” said the
lad. ‘The very next day a lion came down from

STO. OF THE EAST— 14
210

the mountain and seized the finest lamb in the
flock. I was no more afraid of him than I was
of the bear. I ran after him; and when he turned
upon me, I caught him by the beard, and struck
him with my sharp staff and killed him. It was
not altogether of my own strength that I did this;
but the God of my father, he helped me and made
me strong. And he will help me against this giant
Exile.”

“T like the way you talk,” said the King.
“Get yourself ready, and go out against this
Exile; and may the God of your father and of
my father go with you!” —

V. THE SLING.

The King called to one of his chiefs that stood
near, and told him to arm the lad, and make him
ready, so that he could go out in the morning and
fight with the proud giant. The King’s own son
chose the armor for him, and it was the best that
could be found in the camp. They put a helmet
of brass upon his head, and clothed him in a coat
of mail, and gave him a bright new sword. But all
these things were so heavy that when the lad tried
to walk he could hardly move.

‘How am I going to fight in these things?” he
211

said. “I have never practiced in armor, and I
can’t go out this way.”

Then he took off the armor, and threw the sword
upon the ground, and said that he would arm him-
self in his own way. So, with nothing in his hands
but his shepherd’s staff and a sling, he went out in
the morning to meet the giant. On his way down
the hill he crossed a brook, and there he picked
up five smooth round stones, and put them into
the little shepherd’s bag which he carried at his
side.

By this time the giant had come out into the
valley, and was making the speech which he had
made so often before, and was daring the Children
of the Prince to send out a man to fight him. When
he saw the lad coming down the hill with only a
shepherd’s staff in his hand, he laughed.

“Do you think I am a dog,” he roared, “that you
send a boy out against me with a stick? —Come
on, my little fellow, and I will feed you to the birds
and the beasts !”

Then the lad said, “You are very large and
strong, and you come out with a sword and with
a spear and with a shield; but I come in the name
of the God of my father and of my people. This
day I will smite you, and take off your head, and
give your big body to the birds and the wild beasts ;
212

and everybody shall know that our God is the true
God.”

' Then the giant was very angry. He strode for-
ward across the valley, shaking his great spear;
but the lad was not at all afraid of him, and ran
down the hill to meet him; and as-he ran, he
took one of the smooth round stones which he
had picked up, and put it into his sling. The
giant raised his spear to throw it, but the lad was
much quicker than he. He twirled the sling once,
twice, three times — and then the stone went whiz-
zing through the air, and struck the Exile in the
forehead. It struck so hard that it sunk deep into
the big fellow’s head, and he fell upon his face to
the ground. Then the lad ran and stood upon him,
and drew his big sword from its sheath, and cut off
his head. And that was the end of the Exile.

When the Wanderers, who were in their camp,
saw that their champion was dead, they were filled
with fear, and fled pellmell down the farther side of
the hill. And the King’s men shouted and ran
after them, and did not stop until they had chased
them out of the country.

Then everybody praised the lad for what he had
done; and the King took him into his own house,
and made him captain of a thousand men. And,
as they marched through the land, the women and


HE FELL UPON HIS FACE TO THE GROUND.

(213)
214

girls came out from the cities with music and song,
and danced before them; and as they played, one
company would sing, —

“The King has slain a thousand men,
A hero brave is he.”

And then another company would answer, — .

\ “This lad has slain ten thousand men,
_ He’s set our country free.”

This did not please the King very well; but,
when he saw that everybody was ready to take the
boy’s part, he said nothing. *

Now, I need not tell you any more of the strange
history of the lad whom his father called Darling;
for, after his great fight with the giant Exile, he
- was no longer looked upon as a lad, but as a prince.
After a time he married the King’s pretty daughter;
. and when at last the King and his son were both
slain in battle, the Children of the Prince chose him
_ to be their ruler. Thus the words of. the old Seer
when he poured oil on the boy’s head came true;
and he reigned over his people for many years, and
was the greatest king that his country ever had.

- The name of this shepherd lad was David, for
_ that word in his own language meant darling; and
_the giant Exile whom he slew is commonly called
215

Goliah. And even to this day the descendants of
the Children of the Prince take pride in talking
about the glorious reign of King David, for it was
‘then that their country reached the highest point
of its prosperity; and in the churches all over the
world the people still recite the songs called Psalms,
that King David sang when playing upon his harp
in his kingly palace three thousand years ago.



Tyrocraruy By J. S. Cusuinc & Co., Norwoop, Mass., U.S.A.
232977