« PreviousContinue »
VALERIUS (53) records, that Fabius redeemed certain captives by the promise of a sum of money; which when the senate refused to confirm, he sold all the property he possessed, and with the produce paid down the stipulated sum, caring less to be thought poor in lands than poor in honesty.
My beloved, Fabius is Christ, who at the expence of life, ransomed mankind from eternal death.
OF GOOD RULERS, WHO ARE NOT TO BE
VALERIUS Maximus (54) states, that when all the Syracusans desired the death of Dionysius, king of Sicily, a single woman every morning entreated the gods to continue his life, and his sovereignty. Dionysius, surprised at this solitary exception, inquired the reason. She answered, “ When I was a girl, and governed by a tyrant, I wished for his removal, and presently we obtained a worse instead. Having got rid of him, a worse still succeeded; and therefore, under the justifiable apprehension that your place may be filled up by a very devil, I pray earnestly for your longer continuance*"
Dionysius, hearing this, gave her no farther trouble.
My beloved, be not desirous of change. God is merciful and gracious-be content with His government.
OF A CELESTIAL KINGDOM.
The emperor Frederic constructed a curious marble gate at the entrance of Capua. It stood above a fountain of running water; and upon it, the statues of the emperor and two of his judges were sculptured. In a half circle over the head of the right-hand judge was inscribed as follows, “ He who regards his own safety and innocence, let him enter here.” Similarly over the head of the lefthand judge appeared this scroll, “ Banishment or imprisonment is the doom of the envious.” In a semi-circle over the emperor's head, was written, " Those whom I made miserable, I recompensed." In like manner, above the gate, was inscribed, “In Cæsar's reign, I became the guardian of the kingdom.” (55)
* The sentiment is similar to that of Shakspeare.
Hamlet, Act III. Sc. 1.
My beloved, the emperor is God; the marble gate is the Church, which is placed above a running fountain-that is, above the world, which fleets like a water-course. The judges indicate Mary, the mother of Jesus, and John the Evangelist.
OF THE REVOCATION OF A BANISHED
A CERTAIN great King had a handsome son, who proved himself, on all occasions, wise, bold, and courteous. The same King had four daughters also, whose names were Justice, Truth, Mercy, and Peace. Now the King, being very desirous of procuring for his son, a suitable partner, despatched a messenger in search of a beautiful virgin, to whom he should be united. At last, the daughter of the King of Jerusalem was selected, and married to the young Prince, who was much struck with the beauty of his bride. At this time, there was in the court, a servant whom the King principally trusted, and to whom he had confided the care of one of his provinces. This man,