« PreviousContinue »
armour with gummy
flax. As soon as you have entered the garden the lion will rush toward you; attack him manfully, and when you are weary, leave him. Then will he instantly seize you by the arm or leg; but in so doing, the flax will adhere to his teeth, and he will be unable to hurt you. As soon as you perceive this, unsheath your sword and separate his head from his body. Besides the ferocious animal I have described, there is another danger to be overcome. There is but one entrance, and so intricate are the labyrinths, that egress is nearly impossible without assistance. But here also I will befriend you. Take this ball of thread, and attach one of the ends to the gate as you enter, and retaining the line, pass into the garden. But, as you love your life, beware that you lose not the thread.” (61)
The knight exactly observed all these instructions. Having armed himself, he entered the garden; and the lion, with open mouth, rushed forward to devour him. He defended himself resolutely; and when his strength failed he leapt a few paces back. Then, as the lady had said, the lion seized upon the knight's arm;
but entangling his teeth in the flax, he did him no injury; and the sword presently put an end to the combat. Unhappily, however, he let go the thread, and in great tribulation wandered about the garden for three days diligently seeking the lost clue. Towards night he discovered it, and with no small joy, hastened back to the gate. Then loosening the thread, he bent his way to the presence of the emperor ; and in due time the LADY OF COMFORT became his wife. (62)
My beloved, the emperor is Christ; the lady of comfort, is the kingdom of heaven. The garden, is the world; the lion, the devil. The ball of thread, represents baptism, by which we enter into the world.
OF THE INCARNATION OF OUR LORD.
À CERTAIN king was remarkable for three qualities. Firstly, he was braver than all men'; secondly, he was wiser; and lastly, more beautiful. He lived a long time unmarried; and his counsellors would persuade him - to take a wife. My friends," said he,“ it is clear to you that I am rich and powerful enough ; and therefore want not wealth. Go, then, through town and country, and seek me out a beautiful and wise virgin; and if ye can find such a one, however poor she may be, I will marry her.” The command was obeyed; they proceeded on their search, until at last they discovered a lady of royal extraction with the qualifications desired. But the king was not so easily satisfied, and determined to put her wisdoin to the test. He sent to the lady by a herald a piece of linen cloth, three inches square; and bade her contrive to make for him a shirt exactly fitted to his body. “ Then,” added he," she shall be my wife.” The messenger, thus commissioned, departed on his errand, and respectfully presented the cloth, with the request of the king. “ How can I comply with it,” exclaimed the lady, “when the cloth is but three inches square ? It is impossible to make a shirt of that ; but bring me a vessel in which I
may work, and I promise to make the shirt long enough for the body.” The messenger returned, with the reply of the virgin, and the king immediately sent a sumptuous vessel, by means of which she extended the cloth to the required size, and completed the shirt. Whereupon the wise king married her.
My beloved, the king is God; the virgin, the mother of Christ; who was also the chosen vessel. By the messenger, is meant Gabriel. The cloth, is the Grace of God, which, by proper care and labour, is made sufficient for man's salvation.
OF THE CURE OF THE SOUL
A KING once undertook a journey from one state to another. After much travel, he canie to a certain cross, which was covered with inscriptions. On one side was written, " Oh, king, if you ride this way, you yourself will find good entertainment, but your horse will get nothing to eat.” On another part appeared as follows: “ If you ride this road, your horse will be admirably attended to, but you will get nothing for yourself.” Again, on a