« PreviousContinue »
Nay,' would be the trustful answer, 'if mother and Fanny again, and live with we are so happy here by our two selves, how God and all His bright angels up above" wondrous happy we shall be when we see
Publisbed fer the Proprietors by W. WELLS GARDNER, 2 Paternoster Buildings, London.
TIMOTIIEUS AND PHILEMON.
Put up your sword into its scabbard," he
said to him. The execution will not take (Continued from p. 283.)
place to-day. Lead the prisoner back to
his dungeon. 3HE boys whispered to A great hubbub then arose among the
each other for a few people. Some few murmured because the moments, then both
Pacha had put off the terrible tragedy; cried aloud, 'We must but the most part rejoiced that the father of go to the Pacha—we those good children and the wife of the have something to say Pacha had a chance of pardon. The joy to him!' They hur- was almost universal, so that nearly all the
ried down the steps of people shouted • Long live the Pacha!' the scaffold. The people made room for The crowd dispersed. But many men'I them. They hastened up the steps of the and women remained standing in groups. platform where the Pacha stood. Both cast We should like to know,' some said, 'what themselves at his feet.
these two children said to the Pacha • What do you wish ?' he said, angrily. Yes, indeed, said others, “so should we. 'I won't pardon your father, so there is no But we were all too far off to understand a use your praying me to spare his life.' ' word. What they did say, the Pacha alone
Oh, no!' said the boys, we do not ask and the officers who stood nearest him you for his life. We know, indeed, that know. It must have been something very would be in vain. We only beg you to strange. One could see how amazed the allow us to die with him.'
Pacha was by it. He changed colour at How? what?' said he in amazement. once, and he so suddenly put off the eseYou request that I should have your heads cution ! It is next to a miracle.' cut off ?
Would that give you pleasure ?' To the father, Lucius, it seemed also *Yes ! yes!' said the boys. It is the strange. He did not know what his sons wish of our hearts.'
had said to the Pacha, for he was sure that “How can you wish that ?' he said. a petition for his life would have been in • Why do you ask it?'
vain. "Whatever it may have been,' he “Ah,' said both, 'we wish to go to thought, it was certainly inspired by God's Heaven at the same time as our father.' Spirit.'
The Pacha watched the two boys. They The Pacha's wife, thanking God, rewept no longer. Their faces, though still turned to her chamber. Lucius was led wet with tears, looked cheerful and happy.back to his prison. His two boy's accom"Oh, yes,' said both, do grant our wish!' | panied him. They wished to go to his The Pacha, who esteemed courage above cell with him. However horrible it may everything, could not but admire the bravery be there,' they said, 'yet when we are with of the two boys; their request was so un- our dear father we are as happy as if in expected, the joyfulness with which they Heaven.' But they were not allowed to longed to die was to him so strange. He enter the dungeon. Father and sons emscarcely knew where he was, or what he braced each other. Both boys thanked God was doing He was surprised, amazed, and their Redeemer on their knees for having touched. He summoned the executioner. so wonderfully saved their father.
CHAP. XIV.—THE TWIN-BROTHERS BEFORE executed, and they rejoiced aloud when it THE PACHA.
was deferred. The people raised shouts in
. THE Pacha Abdallah left his suite and my honour. They considered that, even went into his garden. Ilere, with rapid were I in the right, I had preferred mercy strides, he walked up and down under a to justice.' long avenue of palm-trees. “It is very He became calmer, went into his apartstrange!' he said to himself, as he re- ment, and said to the slares who attended mained standing. Such courage in boys him, “Send the two boys to me!' They of so tender an age I could not have sup- came, and remained timidly standing at posed possible. I myself, though I have the door. “Come closer, my children,' said always gone bravely into the battle, should Abdallah. 'You please me. I honour your feel somewhat faint-hearted and timid, if, courage. Come, sit down beside me. You like a poor criminal, I had to die miserably on my right, and you on my left-so! And and disgracefully without a sword in my now answer my questions.' hand to defend myself. I cannot deny that He asked them many things about their I should be terrified were the Sultan to send father and their late mother; then he inme the silken cord, the sign that I was to be quired about the way in which the two strangled. Whence, then, have these boys children had been brought into his country, such a more than human courage ? This how their father and Antonius had come Christian faith surely cannot be so foolish hither, how Elmine had caused them to be as we Turks think it. I must examine the received into her house, and all that his matter more closely.'
wife had done during his absence. The He walked up and down for some time boys answered all these questions with childlonger, then he stood still again, and said : like candour and simplicity. The Pacha · The two boys came to me at a very fitting several times could not repress a smile. time. In my rage against my wife I have At last he said, “ All this pleases me very
I have expressed my deter- much. Your father is a really good man, mination to kill her too loudly before too and your mother was a very excellent lady. many people. It will be known not only Antonius, too, I must praise. But has your throughout the whole city, but through the father never scoffed at our Prophet?' whole country too. I could not retract it Our father has never mentioned his with honour. Then those good children, name to us,' said the boys. “We heard without knowing it, helped me out of my his name first here in this country.' difficulty. It is true, indeed,' he said, * But,' said the Pacha, “you Christians ' when one has done wrong, or is about to hate the Turks, do you not?' do so, one should not consider it a disgrace • Oh, no! no!' cried both boys. “We to retract. But a Pacha sometimes thinks must love all men over whom God makes differently from other reasonable people. His sun to shine. And the Turks are But I can now, through the courage of among these. We see with our eyes that these boys, abandon my decision without He makes the sun to shine over them. We any one blaming me for it; on the con
must, therefore, love the Turks.' trary, I shall rather be praised. This I The Pacha smiled. But,' he continued, have seen and heard to-day. All the people everything in the Turks does not please were sad that my sentence was about to be you Christians, surely?'
yone too far.
No, not everything,' said the boys. him most were some texts from Holy Scrip
Well,' said the Pacha, 'give an example.' ture which the boys repeated. Their mother
“Yes,' said the boys: 'that the Turks and their pious father had so often said these rob the Christians and make slaves of them, texts before them, and Antonius bad freby which many of us suffer very severely. quently heard the boys read and repeat The Christians have often, indeed, taken them, till they knew them by heart perthe Turks prisoners in war, but they never fectly. Among these were the following:treated them as slaves; they never stole God is love; and he that dwelleth in away Turks in order to make them their love dwelleth in God, and God in him. slaves.'
God so loved the world, that He gave His • Has your father blamed the Turks for Only-begotten Son, that whosoever bethis ? ' asked the Pacha,
lieveth in Him should not perish but No,' said Timotheus, we have not •
have everlasting life. “To them that beheard this from him. We have seen it lieve in Him giveth He power to become ourselves. At home, in our country, we
the sons of God.' Hereby is our love to have no Turkish slaves; but here there God manifested, that we keep His comare many Christian slaves.'
mandments; and His commandments are Our father has only grieved,' said Phile- not grievous. • The first and greatest mon, that there is not more justice in commandment is, Thou shalt love the Lord Turkey, and that many innocent persons thy God with all thy heart, and all thy were condemned without
trial. He soul, and all thy strength; and the second spoke, too, of the silken cord which the is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighSultan sometimes sends to a Pacha. We do bour as thyself. Whatsoever ye would that not understand what he meant by that. men should do to you, do ye also so to That cord, though it is made of silk, must them. On these two commandments hang be a very bad cord. At least, so we thought all the law and the prophets. “If thou from what our father said about it.'
wilt enter into life, keep the command*Your father was perfectly right there,' ments.' • The world and the glory of it said the Pacha, with a bitter smile. ‘But passeth away, but whosoever doeth the will what else did your father say about the of God abideth for ever.' Whosoever hath Turks?'
My commandments, and keepeth them, Ah!' said Timotheus, 'that they forced dieth not, but is passed from death unto people by fire and sword to adopt their life.' The righteous shall shine like the faith.'
sun in the kingdom of their Father.' “Well, enough, enough of that !' said These divine words, which Abdallah now the Pacha. It struck him that he wished heard for the first time from the mouth of to force his wife through the sword to these boys, touched his heart. The boys return to the faith of Mahomed.
had to repeat them to him several times. us talk of something else,' he said. I Very well,' said he. •You are good, want to know something more about your brave, well-taught children. Now, go and religion. He asked the boys many ques'
tell your father that he is released. Tell tions. He was fairly pleased with their him I won't do him any harm, but show answers. Now and then, however, he shook him all the kindness in my power.' bis head but said nothing. What pleased
(To be continued.)