But if the fortitude of suffering virtue be indeed a spectacle on which the gods admiringly look, then be assured that the invisible ones were gazing down to-day on that glorious arena, ay, and preparing the crown and the palm! For I can as soon believe," continued the Athenian, raising his arm and pointing towards the setting sun, "that that orb is lost, extinguished, blotted out from the universe, because he is sinking from our view, as that the noble spirits which animated those tortured forms could perish with them for ever!
Pollux turned his head aside; he cared not that his companion should see the gesture of pain with which he gnawed his nether lip. Is this the faith of the Hebrews? It inspires even women and children with the courage of heroes, as I witnessed this day. The seventh of the Hebrew brethren was of tender years, and goodly. Even the king pitied his youth, and offered him mercy and honours if he would forsake the law of his God. Antiochus swore that he would raise the youth to riches and power, and rank him amongst his favoured courtiers, if he would bend to the will of the king.
I watched the countenance of the boy as the offer was made. He saw on the one side the mangled forms of his brethren — the grim faces of the executioners; on the other, all the pomps and glories of earth: and yet he wavered not in his choice! Pollux could hardly suppress a groan, and listened with ill-concealed impatience as the Athenian went on with his narrative.
She had stood through all the fearful scene, not like a Niobe in tears, but with hands clasped and eyes upraised, as one who sees the invisible, and drinks in courage from words inaudible to other ears than her own. She heard the king, approached her young son, laid her hand on his shoulder, and gazed on him with unutterable tenderness.
Faith with her might conquer fear, but could only deepen love. She conjured her child, by all that she had done and suffered for him, firmly to believe, and to fear not.
Then, in cruelty which acted the part of mercy, the mother — last of that heroic band — was re-united to them by death. But I could not stay to look upon that sacrifice," said Lycidas, with emotion; "I had seen enough, and more than enough! I have heard of the sun's fiery chariot arrested in its course by the voice of a man, speaking with authority given to him by an inspiring Deity.
Tell me what is the name of the Hebrew's powerful God? Pollux pressed his lips closely together; he dared not utter the awful name of Him whom he had denied. The courtier laid his hand on the jewelled clasp which fastened his girdle; perhaps the movement was accidental, perhaps he wished to direct the attention of his companion to the figures of Hercules and the Nemean lion which were embossed on the gold.
enter site What is the name of that God whom they would not deny, even to save themselves from torture and death? Go you and enjoy the revel in the palace of your king; were I present, I should see at the banquet the shadowy forms of that glorious matron and her sons; I should hear above the laughter, the shout, and the song, the thrilling tones of voices confessing unshaken confidence in the power and mercy of their God, and the glorious hope of immortality where the oppressor can torture no more. And with a somewhat constrained interchange of parting courtesies, the free Greek and the sycophant of a tyrant went on their several ways.
The scene which he had witnessed had left the mind of Lycidas in an excited and feverish state. The cooling breeze which whispered amongst the leaves of the olives, and the solitude of the secluded place where Pollux had left him, were refreshing to the young Greek's spirit.
He threw himself on the grass beneath one of the trees, leant against its trunk, and gazed upwards at the stars as, one by one, they appeared, like gems studding the deep azure sky.
I must know more of that Hebrew religion, and seek out those who can initiate me into its mysteries, if it be lawful for a stranger to learn them. And then the thoughts of Lycidas turned to his poem, and he tried to throw into verse some of the ideas suggested to his mind by the martyrdoms which he had witnessed, but he speedily gave up the attempt in despair.
Gradually sleep stole over the young Greek, his head drooped upon his arm, his eyelids closed, and he slumbered long and deeply. Lycidas was awakened by sounds near him, low and subdued, the cautious tread of many feet, the smothered whisper, and the faint rustle of garments. The Athenian opened his eyes, and gazed from his place of concealment behind the thick branching stem of the olive on a strange and striking scene.
The moon, full and round, had just risen, but the foliage of the trees as yet obscured most of her light, as her silver lamp hung near the horizon, casting long black shadows over the earth. Several forms were moving about in the faint gleam, apparently engaged in some work which needed concealment, for none of them carried a torch. Lycidas, himself silent as the grave, watched the movements of those before him with a curiosity which for a time so engrossed his mind as to take away all sense of personal danger, though he soon became aware that the intrusion of a stranger on these mysterious midnight proceedings would not only be unwelcome, but might to himself be perilous.
The group of men assembled in that retired spot were evidently Hebrews, and as the eyes of Lycidas became accustomed to the gloom, and the ascending moon had more power to disperse it, he intuitively singled out one from amongst them as the leader and chief of the rest. Not that his tunic and mantle were of richer materials than those of his comrades; plain and dusty with travel were the sandals upon his feet, and he wore the simple white turban which a field-labourer might have worn.
But never had turban been folded around a more majestic brow, and the form wrapped in the mantle had the unconscious dignity which marks those born to command. The very tread of his sandalled feet reminded the Athenian of that of the desert lion, and from the dark deep-set eye glanced the calm soul of a hero.
Not a word was uttered in reply; but the men around, after laying aside their upper garments, set to work to dig what appeared to be a wide trench. The leader himself threw off his mantle, took a spade, and laboured with energy, bringing the whole force of his powerful muscles to bear on his humble toil.
All worked in profound silence, nor paused in their labour except now and then to listen, like men to whom danger had taught some caution. Whilst the men went on with their digging, Lycidas strained his eyes to distinguish the outlines of a group at some paces' distance, which doubtless, though separated from them, belonged to the same party as those so actively employed before him.
Two forms appeared to be seated on the ground in a spot evidently chosen for its seclusion; one of them was clothed in dark garments, the other was shrouded in a large white linen veil.
Other figures in white seemed to be stretched upon the ground in repose. Lycidas watched this silent group for hours, and all remained motionless as marble, save that ever and anon the dark female figure slightly swayed backwards and forwards with a rocking motion, and that several times the veiled head was turned with a quick movement, as of alarm, when the breeze rustled in the olives a little more loudly than usual, or bore sounds from the city to the woman's sensitive ear.
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Hebrew Heroes: A Tale Founded on Jewish History [Charlotte Maria Tucker] on presatrecomli.ga *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This collection of literature. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Charlotte Maria Tucker (8 May 8, – 2 December Hebrew Heroes A Tale Founded on Jewish History - Kindle edition by Charlotte Maria Tucker. Religion & Spirituality Kindle eBooks @ presatrecomli.ga
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Get In-Stock Alert. Delivery not available. Pickup not available. The southern half, known as Judea, survived until around B. During their captivity in Babylon, Hebrew scribes recorded the history of their people and their relationship with their god Yahweh. After B. He allowed the Hebrews to return to their holy city of Jerusalem.
But, the Hebrews continued to fall under the domination of other empires. In 70 C. Report broken link. Ancient Civilizations 1. How Do We Know? Geographers and Their Space 2. First Technologies: Fire and Tools 3. Women of Ancient Egypt 4.