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Hungarian soldiers to be abused and nocked; and on the third day, he commanded her to be stabbed, and transfixed from the throat downward, observing, “ that a wife who betrayed her country to gratify her evil passions, ought to possess such a husband.”
My beloved, Conan is the devil, who besieged a castle, that is, the human heart. Rosinella is any woman who wanders from the path of rectitude. The children are those virtues which leave the breast when evil enters; and the Hungarian soldiers are the vices into which it falls.
OF PRAISE DUE TO A JUST JUDGE.
VALERIUS informs us, that the emperor Zelongus made a law, by which, if any one abused a virgin he should lose both his eyes. It happened that his only son trespassed in this manner with the daughter of a certain widow, who immediately hastened into the presence of the emperor, and spoke thus ; " My Lord, you have righteously decreed, that he who defiles a virgin shall lose his sight. Your only son has dishonoured my daughter; command him to be punished.” These words greatly distressed the emperor, but he gave instant orders respecting the punishment of
On this, two noblemen observed: “ The young man is your only child, and heir
to the throne : it were impious, if for this he should lose his eyes.” The emperor answered, “ Is it not evident to you, that I myself ordained this very law ? disgraceful as the occasion is, it may break my heart, but not my resolution. My son has been the first to transgress the law, and therefore, shall be the first to undergo the penalty.” “ Sire," said the noblemen, “ let us implore you, for the sake of Heaven, to forgive the errors of your child.” Somewhat subdued by the urgency of their entreaties, the emperor, after a moment's pause, said, “My friends, listen to me : my eyes are the eyes of my son; and his, are in like manner, mine. Pluck out, therefore, my right eye, and let him surrender his left; thus, the law will be satisfied." The paternal affection of the emperor was indulged, and the whole kingdom extolled the prudence and justice of their prince. (51)
My beloved, the emperor is Christ; the eyes are divine grace, and eternal happiness, which he who sinned would have totally lost, had not the compassion and consequent sufferings of the Son of God, meliorated the condign punishment.
Josephus mentions, that Tiberius Cæsar, inquiring why the governors of provinces remained so long in office, was answered by an example. “ I have seen,” said the respondent, “ an infirm man covered with ulcers, grievously tormented by a swarm of flies. When asked why he did not use a flap and drive off his tormentors, he answered, The very circumstance which you think would relieve me, would, in effect, promote tenfold suffering. For by driving away the flies now saturated with my blood, I should afford an opportunity to those that were empty and hungry to supply their place. And who doubts that the biting of a hungry insect is not ten thousand times more painful than that of one completely gorged,-unless the