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and water. Without regard to his urgency, she compelled him to endure this humiliating treatment; and before long, two other sol. diers came to her from the emperor's court, with the same evil views. In like manner, she decoyed them into the chamber, and fed them with bread and water.

The sudden disappearance, however, of the three soldiers, gave rise to much enquiry; and the carpenter, on the completion of his labors, received the stipulated sum, and returned to his own home. His virtuous wife met him with joy, and looking upon the spotless shirt, exclaimed, * Bessed be God! our truth is made apparentthere is not a single stain upon the shirt.” To which he replied, " My beloved, during the progress of the building, three soldiers, one after another, came to ask questions about the shirt. I related the fact, and since that time nothing has been heard of them.” The lady smiled, and said,“ The soldiers respecting whom you feel anxious, thought me a fit subject for their improper solicitation, and came hither with the vilest intent. I decoyed them into a remote chamber, and have fed them with

bread and water.” The carpenter, delighted with this proof of his wife's fidelity, spared their lives, and liberated them, on condition that they became honest men.


My beloved, the emperor is God; the palace is the human heart. The soldier who married his daughter to the carpenter is Christ; the carpenter is any good Christian, and the mother is the Church. The shirt is faith ; the three soldiers are pride, lusts of the eyes, and lusts of the heart.




A CERTAIN king had a beautiful and wise daughter, whom he was desirous of marrying.

But she had sworn never to unite herself with any but upon three conditions. First, he was to state accurately and succinctly how many feet there were in the length, breadth, and depth of the four elements. Secondly, what would change the north wind. And thirdly, by what means fire might be carried in the bosom without injury. When the king, therefore, understood his daughter's resolution, he proclaimed it through the kingdom, and promised to give her in marriage to whomsoever performed the conditions. Many endeavoured, but failed ; until at length a certain soldier from foreign parts heard of the girl's oath. He hastened to the palace, conveying with him a single attendant, and an extremely fiery horse. On being admitted, into the king's presence, he said, “ I am desirous of espousing your '

majesty's daughter, and I am prepared to solve the questions which have been proposed." The king assented, and the soldier calling his servant, commanded him to lie upon the earth. And when he was thus laid, his master measured his length from one extremity to the other.

When he had done this, he said to the king, “ My lord, your first question is resolved; I find in the four elements scarcely seven feet." “: How ?" replied the king, “ What has this to do with the four elements ?" “ My lord," answered the soldier, every map as well as every animal, is composed of the four elements. “ Amen," said the king, “ you have proved this very satisfactorily. Now then for the second condition; which is to change the wind.” “Immediately he caused his horse to be brought into the area of the court, and there administered a potion, by which the animal was made perfectly quiet. This done he turned his horse's head toward the East, and said, “ Observe, my lord, the wind is changed from North to East.” “How?" answered the king, “what is this to the wind ?" “Sire," returned the soldier, “ is it not obvious to your wisdom that the life of every animal consists in his breath, which is air ? As long as he remained toward the North, he raged fiercely, and his snorting was excessive. But when I had given him the potion and turned him toward the East, he became quiet and breathed less, and in a different direction; wherefore, the wind is changed." “This also,” said the king, " you have well proved; go on to the third.” My lord,” replied the soldier, " this, so please you, I will perform before all your court.” Then, taking up a handful of burning coals, he deposited them in his bosom, without injury to his flesh. “Truly,” exclaimed the king," you have done very well in these matters : but tell me, how happens it that you are unhurt by the fire.” “ It was not,” returned the soldier, “ by any power of my own, but by virtue of a singular stone, which I always carry about with me. And whosoever possesses this stone is able to resist the hottest fire.” The king, satisfied that the conditions had been accurately complied with, gave orders for his marriage with the lady. He loaded him with riches and honors, and they both ended their days in the greatest happi


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