« הקודםהמשך »
fingers, or embolus for sucking. The As to the origin of this marvel of demonster has numerous piercing eyes formity, its growth and present aspect, glaring around for food and plunder,and the following story has been culled from the arms and suckers are perpetually the most authentic reports and annals twisting and moving about far and near, upon the subject: and the claws and fingers and sponge
A certain illustrious Prince, the son like absorbers gather enormous stores and heir of a grand and mighty King, of booty and filthy aliment, and convey inherited from his sire a goodly estate. the same to the cavernous jaws. Thus The patrimony covered a vast extent of the eyes are constantly watching, the territory, including provinces, broad arms and suckers continually moving, plains and populous cities; wide seas, and the mouths ever devouring. This populated with fleet-winged commerce; is all the monster has to do.
high mountains, flowing rivers, and The peculiarities of the spectacle are islands abounding with persuming spices numerous and interesting. Seen in and mineral treasures. Flocks and herds varying shades of light, and from differ in vast numbers grazed fertile pastures. ent points of view, the monster assumes On every hand the fair landscape was quite different aspects. Viewed from a chequered with the careful lines of distance, from an eminence called Mount fencing, wall and hedgerow inclosing Theology, a strange metamorphose vineyard, orchard and field, the precious transforms the frightful apparition into wealth of industrious husbandry. an object of rare and incomparable The character of the Prince was such beauty. The body is no longer a putrid as every good person might imitate with mass of heaving corruption, but a comely assured advantage. In physical form he and delicate organism of choicest and was perfect, and his surpassing mind inhighly-prized materials. The repulsive treasured every excellent and estimable heads take on the appearance of vener quality. His sole heed and solicitude able patriarchs and grave sages. The was the happiness and well-being of his faces are those of harmless sheep and subjects. It was his gracious desire that innocent doves, all wearing a bland, each of them should enjoy the bounties charitable, and lamb-like expression. The of his fair domain. He disfavored all formidable arms and long, slimy trunks striving inequality-disdained coercive are changed into lovely members, out might, and severely condemned oppresstretched to protect, and shining con sion of the poor and the triumphs of the duits dispensing golden bounties every strong over the weak. where around. Instead of talons and The form of government he loved was grasping claws, there are sost, white that called patriarchal—the benign rule hands, from which a profusion of de of natural fathership and primogenial liciously perfumed blessings are con authority-as from this source his own stantly dropping. By an easy change of right and eminence were derived. view, this marvelous creature is trans But notwithstanding the benevolent formed from an enormous and hungry disposition of the Prince, and his good gormandizer to a most pleasing object will towards his subjects, he had a vin-a veritable living fountain of copious dictive and implacable enemy-a powergists and benefits.
ful chieftain and approved leader of a The appearance is, in reality, a reflection numerous and formidable band of sediset in the historical firmament of a grand tious marauders. The all-absorbing and imposing institution spread over a animus of this arch-antagonist was unvast area of country, and which has dying and malicious hatred of the good existed with various mutations, for many Prince, conjoined with illimitable craft generations. At certain times a lurid light and wily seduction, in all which qualities shoots athwart the monstrous emblem, of evil and insidious cunning his vile and then are traced in forked fire, the in crew of lesser potentates partook and auspicious words, "Mystery, Babylon." used, each according to the strength of
his malignant nature. The adversary and his evil band had their abode in a vast and dreary desert hard by the Prince's domain. From there they made constant incursions into his estate, and there, by cruel and artful tricks, wrought untold mischief and misery among his yielding subjects, by inciting them to rebellion and seditious uprisings against their rightful Lord's authority. Many, by listening to the seductive voice of these evil advisers, became proud and grew hard and tyrannical, usurped unlawsul authority over their brethren, and oppressed and cruelly treated them. This ungrateful and perilous conduct sorely grieved the Prince, seeing it was foul treason against him and his majestic Father also.
Yet the Prince was patient and longsuffering, and while his subjects were hostile, defiant and rebellious, and, furthermore, threatened him with personal abuse and violence, he went about among them doing good. He took the part of the poor and distressed, and defended the weak and the downtrodden against their hard masters and cruel tyrants.
He fèd the hungry, and healed and comforted multitudes of sick people, and finally offered to ransom them from the odious crime of rebellion and treason, by sacrificing his own life to satisfy the broken law. Some were penitent, submissive and obedient, but the bulk of his subjects continued defiant and rebellious.
Although the charity and forbearance of the kind Prince were boundless, he could not condescend to dwell among a people who every day insulted and defied him. Moreover, his Father, the King, who was witness of this wicked insolence and contumacious treatment of his well-beloved son and heir, invited him to return to the imperial palace until his subjects should have learned obedience by their experience of the effects of their folly, become penitent, and be glad to welcome back their rightful Lord.
Therefore the Prince called together his few faithful adherents, and prepared them, by many valuable instructions and
endowments, to assume his government and be his representatives after his departure. There were only about one hundred and twenty of them, all told; but they were brave and valiant men. They braved terrible dangers in maintaining the cause of the discarded Prince against hordes of fierce and savage enemies. They were, as the Prince himself told them, like a small flock of sheep scattered over a forest, in which prowled hungry and ferocious beasts. But he said he would not leave them unprotected and comfortless. He invited them to send petitions at any time to him for help and advice, and promised to answer them promptly and grant them all assistance and supplies necessary. He also endowed them with some extraordinary gifts and powers, such as he himself possessed and had exercised. They could cure all manner of diseases by a touch of the hand; they could exorcise evil spirits, make the lame to walk, restore sight and speech and hearing to those who, by any cause, were deprived of those valuable faculties. They could release the poor imbecile and pitiable lunatic, and re-install reason upon her throne. They could warm into flowing liquid the frozen life current, call the departed spirit back, and rescue the body from the dark chambers of death. They could burst prison doors, and, by their word, cause to quake the foundations of adamantine dungeons. They could command the thunder and the storm, or still to calmness their tempestuous fury, and smite with palsy or death their malignant opposers. They possessed and employed these miraculous powers in the name of their Prince, and used them as far and as long as his wisdom permitted. They were also clothed with plenary authority to admit aliens and returning prodigals to citizenship; to collect and disburse rents and revenues, and the Prince promised to honor all their transactions of this nature with his sanction. But they were to be the stewards and friends and protectors of his subjects, not masters. He hired them, not the people, and to him alone they must look for their reward for
service. "Shepherds, feed my sheep,”
centers of wealthy abundance. said the Prince, whereas, "Sheep feed Many rich and oppulent families had us,'' was the imperious demand of the joined the Prince's government, and had robbers and tyrants.
poured their riches-houses, lands and At length the Prince took his depart possessions-into its treasury. Under ure, and his servants began to labor directions from the Prince the accumudiligently in his cause. The Prince had lated wealth of the new government was set a valiant man, named Peter, at their used solely in the support and advancehead. Under his direction they dis ment of his cause. The poor and needy persed themselves over the estate, and were first supplied. The expenses of entered heartily and zealously upon the carrying on the government were few good work of reformation. They showed and not burdensome, and rich and stately the people the true character and just edifices were erected to the honor of the claims of the Prince, and how much they absent Prince and the majestic King. owed to him their fealty and obedience. Many curious and beautiful palaces were They reminded the people of his numer
built, in which the loyal potentates were ous acts of benevolence and good will wont to assemble in counsel to transact towards them, and proved that they
the weighty affairs of the imperial state; themselves were the Prince's true ser
but all the wealth and splendor, all the vants, by their possessing similar pow lands and possessions were considered ers. Now, it frequently happens that a as belonging to the Prince,and dispensbenefactor is valued more after he is lost ed only as he dictated. Such an instithan while he is present, and this was
tution, abounding with valuable benefits, the case with regard to the absent was sure to become popular and attracPrince. The earnest speeches of the tive to a poor and oppressed people, for legates aroused the attention of the peo
all its influence was on the side of libple and called out their regretful emo
erty, prosperity and happiness. All its tions. Thousands upon thousands joined officers were honest, upright and brave with the Prince's servants, were enrolled men; their very presence was a boon-a as citizens, and entered into solemn perpetual joy and benediction to the covenant to serve their rightful sovereign.
favored locality where they sojourned. Ir a few years the cause of the Prince The sick were healed, the hungry were had spread with amazing rapidity, and fed, the naked were clothed, the stranger achieved prodigious marvels of success was treated with hospitality, the widow and victory and volume. With untiring
and the orphan were cared for, and the assiduity the dauntless ambassadors sorrowful visited and cheered. pushed the good work along. They
Such was the character-these were spread the fame and proclaimed the
the fruits of the Prince's benign and gracious will of the Prince through wide gracious rule. Who but demons could spreading countries, and large colonies
strike them down, or wish them blasted? were founded, and powerful associations
Alas! the frailty of human nature is of brotherhood and loyalty were estab
strange and inexplicably perverse. lished in many parts of the Prince's do As the crouching, hungry wolf watches main, and it appeared hopeful that the from his lurking covert the lambs gamrighteous government had secured a boling on the green, quiet pasture, so permanent foothold among his subjects. glared with greedy and jealous eyes, the
The rescued people were happy and malicious robbers and tyrants upon the prosperous in their new affiliations. They young and sturdy state. Here was prey were a family brotherhood, having aims for rapacious greed; here was plunder and interests in common. There were nei for ravening covetousness. At first they ther cankering poverty nor super-abound leered and chafed, yet hesitated to ating affluence among them--all were satis tack. They met in secret conclave, and fied and content. Nevertheless, all were brooded over the growing strength of rich together, and their commonwealths the infant giant. They muttered male
portunities.. Again they turned to fresh
But the excuses. Were they not honIf a youth murdered his father and mother, could he not claim pity because he is an orphan? Would it not be unkind to ask the robber of the poor to relinquish the booty? It might put him into inconvenience. How cruel to take the kid from the jaguar just because he was about to pick his bones. Is not this gates plotting against us? Are not we the rulers of the estate? Do we not hold the lands, and the cattle and the palaces? rights, and using our treasures? Are they not thieves and traitors? Do not every one of them deserve death? Are we not the most honorable and merciful
Since Cain, to grasp his brother's flocks and herds,scrupled not to be a fratracide,
dictions at the thought of possible dan plunder has ever been the luring bait for ger and menace threatening them. They power, greed and ambition. And, allured gloated and grimly smiled as malevolent by their insensate lust for power and thoughts planned dark plots for pelf in plunder, these greedy tyrants commenced their avaricious souls. But the wolf a crusade of mischief and misery, of must find excuse for seizing and devour cruelty and crime upon the domain, uning the helpless lamb, lest his fair repu
paralleled before in the annals of atrotation for gentleness be soiled, and he be cious infamy. Heretofore the quarrels thought cruel. They were sage and art
between the tyrants were of a less infaful in all old schemes and strategy of
mous character; they were blood-thirsty plunder called government. They had
disputes of robbers over the division of hitherto demolished every buttress which
spoils; but this was an onslaught of struggling innocence and freedom had
villainous rapacity against innocence, feared against villainy and encroaching righteous and lawful authority and honest tyranny; but here was something new
possessions. They were baffled and Like a menagerie of wild animals let confounded at the unique features - per
loose upon a defenceless flock of sheep, plexed and amazed with its robust frame the hungry horde rushed upon their prey. and vigorous vitality. They viewed with
The marauders acted together, and plaenvy the spell-like power of the Prince's
cated the rival spirits by agreeing to legates; the ease with which they drew divide the plunder. They seized the the multitude towards them; how freely
head steward and his faithful fellow-lathe rich poured out their wealth and borers, and with scourgings and tortures treasures at their feet. If they only could
put them to death. The colonies of the wield such an influence as this! They
faithful were set upon, and the helpless grew wild
as they gloated over the people scattered and slaughtered with thought of such advantages—such op
merciless ferocity. The innocent victims struggled and fluttered as ineffectually as the dove in the claws of the kite.
The shepherds smitten and slain, Their reputation must be many of the sheep escaped for a time by
They must be dainty scattering upon the mountains. Some upon this important and delicate point,
crept into caves and hid in catacombs, where they endured the horrors of fear, of hunger and thirst, of cold and pestilence. But even this dreadful exile did not save them—they were hunted with horses, and ferreted out with bloodhounds. Many were racked and pulled asunder, others thrown to the wild beasts
to be torn to pieces for the diversion of impostor? Are not these le theatre spectators; while others were
daubed over with tar and oils and set on fire, to give illumination to the ghastly
entertainment. not encroaching upon our
The legates and faithful followers of the Prince, thus dispossessed, driven off and destroyed, the homes and lands, the treasures and possessions of the scat
tered flocks were confiscated, divided men alive? We can bear and devoured by the usurping tyrants
and despoilers. They took possession of the palaces and government storehouses of the Prince, and began imme
and vigorous plotting.
orable men? considered first.
and forbearing it no longer.
tablish himself as a head and leader, each claiming to be the especial favorite of the Prince, until the entire domain was covered with these upstart, greedy chiefs, and every one has his set of Holinesses, Arches, Graces, Right Revs., and Revs., and all are engaged in plundering and absorbing the bounties of the Prince's estate, while all are his avowed enemies and presumptuous rebels.
Looking over the estate, one of the Prince's servants described the vision thus:
“She is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."
This is a true but imperfect story of the origin and growth of the monstrous apparition as it is reflected in the historical firmament.
John H. Kelson.
diately to assume authority and act as rulers of the imperial estate. They had the presumptuous effrontery to call themselves the officers of the Prince, and had the cool impudence to affect his authority. They chose one, the most bold, crafty and venomous of their horde, to be their head and chief usurper, and with blasphemous audacity called him the “successor of the Prince's headsteward, Peter, whom they had deposed and murdered. So with all the other servants and cabinet ministers of the government. After having cruelly butchered them, they set themselves up in their places and assumed to act in their stead. They carried their consummate. gall even further, and augmented offices and intensified their names and titles. They called the head robber, "His Holi. ness." The others were plumed as “His Highness," "His Grace," "The Right Reverand,” “The Arch Shepherd,” etc. They proclaimed themselves throughout the plundered domain as the lawful officers of the true Prince, and pretended to send petitions to him, and so blinded the Prince's subjects that they believed that he acknowledged them in all their impious villainy.
And now, once more, the cruel and merciless tyrants and robbers had full possession of the Prince's estate, and there rested down, like a sable pall, a black night of ignorance and terror, oppression and gloom, upon the whole domain. Nothing but cries of misery and woe went up into the ears of the Prince, but he was silent. The lamentations of the widows and orphans sounded in the streets, and the groans of slaves and prisoners, and the sobbings of the comfortless poor, wailed hideously upon the night air, while the bloated harpies, secure in guarded vaults and cloistered palaces, feasted and brawled, rioted and grew brutishly fat upon the plunder and spoils.
But the evils and plagues which always attend wrongful plotters, fell upon them. They quarreled and fought over the ill-gotten booty. First one, and then another burly ruffian would arise and grasp a part of the plunder and es
THE VALUE OF THE PURITAN SABBATH.-Sunday has had more value in this country than merely as a day of rest. It has been a power in forming American character. It has caused a pause to men in whatever pursuit. It has kept before men always the knowledge of a great authority regulating their affairs. Those who were brought up under the strict law of what is called the Puritan Sunday, sometimes look back from early manhood with intense dislike to its iron restraints imposed upon the jubilant spirits of the youth. But as they grow older and more thoughtful they recog. nize at least the priceless discipline of the day, its effect on the formation of mind, its lessons which hurt so much in entering that they are never to be forgotten. No wandering life prevails to lead them away from the effects of those days; nor are there among the sons of men in this world of labor and pain any who look back with such intense yearning for the home rest as those men, who out from the anxieties and agonies and sins of mature "life, howsoever guilded its surroundings, send longings of heart to the old fireside, where the Bible was the only Sunday book and the Pilgrim's Progress was almost the only week-day fiction. Scorn it, as may those who