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The Bold Dragoon.
1. Once, in a merry tavern in Brabant,
A jolly dozen of dragoons were boasting Of their past feats in many a Flemish hosting. "How, now," at length cried one, "friend Gaspar!
You brush your memory up, and give us some
"Oh," answered Gaspar, "I am silent, lest You might suppose me lying, or might call Me braggart."-" No, no, no, we won't!" cried all. Well, then, the time we lay in camp near Seville I—I—” “Ay! hear him! Gaspar Schnapps forever! "I cut ten troopers' legs off, clean and clever!"
2. "Their legs!" cried six or eight. "By all that's civil! What made you cut their legs off, prithee, brother?" "What made me cut their legs off?" said the other. "Ay! had you cut their heads off, then, in truth,
That would have been the right way to astound them."
"Oh, but you see," said Schnapps, "the fact is-I— I couldn't cut their heads off."-" No? and why?
'Because,” responded the redoubted youth,
"Their heads had been cut off before I found them!"
Brabant (1), formerly a province of the Netherlands, now belongs partly to Holland, partly to Belgium; "hosting" (1) is an obsolete word meaning "battle."
Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both.
1. ¤å prì' çioŭs lý; adv. cu-
1. ôr nāte; a. finely cultivated.
8. eŏņ'eōùrse; n. assembly. 9. lŭs tēr; n. splendor.
9. mo měn' tous; a. impor
14. quoth (kwōth); v. said.
The Meeting with the Master.
1. It was early morning, in the thirty-second year of the Christian era, when a handsome, soldier-like, and majestic man, wearing the costume of a Roman legatus, or general, stood on Mount Olivet, southeast-by-east of Jerusalem. He was looking west. The Syrian sun had climbed out of the Arabian sands behind him, and it flung his tall shadow level and far over the scanty herbage among the numerous sad-colored twigs of the olive-shrub. Opposite, just below him, across the deep ravine of the Kedron brook, better known by the awful name attached to that with which it blends, "The Josaphat Vale," shone the fiery splendor of God's temple. Its glorious eastern front, here milk-white with marble, there breastplated with gold, its pinnacles of gold, its half-Greek, halfRoman architecture capriciously and fancifully varied by the ornate genius of the Asiatic builders whom Herod the Idumæan had employed, were of a character to arrest the least curious eye, and to fill the most stupid and indifferent spectator with astonishment and admiration. And yet this was but the second temple-how inferior to, how different from, the first!
2. This was Mount Moriah, the hill of God. On the left, as the Roman general gazed, facing westward, was Mount Zion, the city of David, now the palace of Herod the tetrarch, encompassed by the mansions of Hebrew nobles.
3. "Here I stand at last," thought Paulus, "after so many checkered fortunes, looking down upon the most beautiful, the most dazzling, and the most mysterious of cities! To see Rome thus may be the lot of an eagle as it soars over it, but has never been granted to human eyes. And even could Rome be viewed in this way, it would want the unity, the whiteness. Ah! strange city! Wondrous Mount of Zion! wondrous Hill of Moriah! wonderful temple! Not temple of Jupiter, or of Venus, or of Janus, or of this or that monster or hero, but Temple, say they, of God! The Temple of God! And this is the land of the prophets whom I have at last read; yonder, beyond the wall, north, is Jeremiah's grotto! This, too, is the age, the time, the day, the hour, to which they all point, when the God of whom they speak, and of whom the Sibyls also sang, is to come down into a visibly ruined and corrupted world, and to perform that which to do is in itself surely God-like.
4. "But one thing is dark even in the glooms of mystery. How can a God suffer?-be thwarted, be overcome, at least apparently so, by His own creatures, and these the very worst of them? What can these cries of grief and horror which the prophets utter, mean?"
5. As Paulus thus mused, some one passed him, going down the Mount of Olives, and in passing looked at him; and until Paulus died he never ceased to see that glance, and in dying he saw it yet, and with a smile thanked his Maker that he saw it then also-especially then.
6. The person who thus passed our hero was more than six feet in height. He was fair in complexion. His hair was light auburn, and large locks of it fell with a natural wave and return upon His neck. His head was bare. His dress was the long flowing robe of the Jews, girdled at the waist, and, as Paulus afterward fancied, the
color of it was red. He was in the bloom of life. Our hero could see, as this person passed, that He was the very perfection of health, beauty, vigor, elegance, and of all the faculties of physical humanity; and even the odd, and strange, and wild, and somewhat mysterious thought flashed through Paulus's mind:
7. "My God," thought he, "if there were a new Adam to be created, to be the natural, or rather the supernatural, king of the human race, would not his appearance surely be as the appearance and the bearing of this person?
8. And the person who passed was moreover thin, and a little emaciated. And He would have seemed wan, only that the most delicate, faint blood-color mantled in His cheeks. And He looked at the hero Paulus with the look of Him out of whose hand none hath power to take those whom He picks from a vast concourse and elects. And Paulus felt glad, and calm, and without anxiety for the future, and free from all bitterness for the past, and firm, yet grave; and, when his mind went actually forth to look upon the things that were around it, he saw nothing but the face and the glance.
9. And now I come to the strangest particular of all. Paulus felt that this beautiful and vigorous new Adam, fit to be the natural and even supernatural king of the world, was one who never could have laughed, and probably had never smiled. But no smile was so sweet as His gravity. And Paulus remembered another extraordinary and unparalleled circumstance: it was this-those beautiful and benignant eyes were so full of terror that it seemed they could scarcely hold in an equal degree any other expression in them except that which shone therein with what seemed to Paulus a celestial and divine luster; I mean, first, love, and, next, unconquerable, and everlasting, and victorious
As though there was a work to do which none but He (from the creation to the day of doom) could ever accomplish a dreadful work, a work unspeakable in shame, and in pain, and in horror, and yet a work entirely indispensable, and the most important and real and momentous that had ever been performed. And the subject or hero of this tale, Paulus, wondered how in the same look and eyes, and in a single glance of them, two things so opposite as ineffable terror and yet God-like, adorable courage, could be combined.
10. But, nevertheless, they were both there; and with this mighty and mysterious mental combination Paulus also saw a sweetness so inexpressibly awful that, at once (and as if he had heard words formed within his own heart), the reflection arose within him: “How much more terrible would be the wrath of the lamb than the rage of the lion!
And the figure of this person passed onward, and was hidden from poor Paulus beyond the olive groves.
11. Our hero sat down on a jutting stone, half-covered with herbage, and fell into a vague and somewhat sorrowful meditation. A rustle of the olives near him caused him to turn his head, and who, of all men in the world, should be at his side but Longinus the centurion!
12. "Why," cried Paulus, "I thought you were at Rome!"
“I have just arrived, my tribune," returned the brave man, "with orders to report myself to Pontius Pilate, the Procurator of Judea, or Governor of Jerusalem. Cornelius, of the Italian band, also a centurion, as you know, my tribune, has been ordered to Cæsarea, and is there stationed."
"Well," said Paulus, "I am delighted to meet you again. How is Thellus ?"