THE QUEEN PROCLAIMED IN THE GIANT CITY.
" Half-hearted, false-hearted ! Heed we the warning !
Only the whole can be perfectly true ;
Bring the whole offering, all timid thought scorning,
True-hearted only if whole-hearted too."
NOTHER Passover season was at hand, and
the few Israelites in and about Bozrah, not
being permitted to celebrate the feast, at
Jerusalem were gathering for a " Little
Passover " at the Giant City. There was sadness, mur-
murings and fears in the hearts of the people. Sad
ness in remembering the decadence of Israel ; fears, for
there were Mamelukes hovering threateningly in large
numbers near the city; murmurings, because fault
findings, the last stage to indifference, flourish when
religion is decaying. Faith and doubt waged their
eternal battle ; and at Bozrah, doubt appealing to pres
ent facts, had the easier part against faith, appealing
to past providences or unseen hopes. There was
clamor for a change, but the leaders of the people were
purblind to any new light. They crushed their own
secret doubts and continued to enforce what they be
lieved, because they had believed it. They felt a sense
of responsibility, and that made them very conserva
tive. Before the sun had reached high-noon Bozrah
The Queen Proclaimed in the Giant City. 265
was all astir. There were but two principal streets
in the city ; these ran by the four great points of the
compass and crossed at its center. Two companies of
Jews of very different make-up, each moving along one
of those streets, met, and, in passing, quite accidentally,
the two processions formed a cross. One of the com
panies was made up of priests and serious old men, the
true elders of the people. They tried to appear very
wise and very pious, and succeeded. They tried as well
to cheer and comfort all, and did not succeed very well.
The other company was made up of young Israelitish
men. They were going eastward ; the old men walked
northward, away from the sun, now a little more than
southeast. By the side of the elders glided a row of
shadows of their own making. But they were as
unconscious of these as of the shadows their musty
traditions flung over the people.
The youths felt like singing, so they sang. The
sadness that \vas so general was not very deep with
them. They would have liked to have sung a sort
of convivial song; but, that being forbidden, they com
promised with their consciences and the situation
by singing the one hundred and twenty-second Psalm,
with the vigor of a madrigal. They had a surplus
age of vitality, and they let it flow out in the pious
canticle. Certainly they conserved outward propriety;
as to their inward feelings, they themselves hardly
knew what they were; hence, it would be unjust,
for one without, to pass judgment. The Psalm was
appointed to be sung at this feast. They say the return
ing captives, coming from Babylon, centuries before,
sang this song as they ascended to a sight of Jeru
266 The Queen of the House of David.
Now, some of the elders had come to think it piety
to morbidly nurse their sorrows. They were never
happy except when they were miserable. One of these
paused and addressed the young singers :
" Children, cease. Your time is too much like a
Then all eyes turned toward the leader of the
youths, a man with a Saul-like neck, large mouth, wet,
thick lips, and burning eyes ; all bespeaking a person
who is never religious beyond the drawings of religicus
excitement, for excitement s sake, and never self-
restraining, except as checked by fear of a very mate
rial hell. Such an one, if he have any regularity in
his piety, will have it because somebody opposes, or
because, having swallowed, with one lazy gulp, a heavy
creed, he thereafter goes about condoning by habit his
petty vices, in trying to force others to be better than
he himself ever expects to be. Such are never spiritual,
and seldom martyrs ; but they make good persecutors,
and so do a work that compels others, by suffering, to
be spiritual, and, may be, good martyrs. This leader
made sharp retort, thrusting out his chin to enforce it :
" The Psalm is all right, and, if the old men sang
more, they would have less time for moaning. Sing
ing and moaning are much alike, only the former
cheers men, the latter, devils ! "
" Son," replied the patriarch, " revile not the fathers,
We do not condemn thy joy as sin ; but yet it now
seems inopportune. We are entering captivity, not
liberation. Our holy and our beautiful temple is in
ruins ; our people like hunted quail."
" But, this is feast time," said the youth.
" What a feast ! I remember it as it was when the
The Queen Proclaimed in the Giant City. 267
.lation gathered at Jerusalem, to the number of
nigh 3,000,000, and offered 250,000 lambs. Ah,
now, a handful, in this grim old city surrounded by
aliens ! "
The elder, so speaking, bowed his head, threw his
mantle over his eyes and wept ; meanwhile his fellow-
elders gathered about him, very reverently, and waved
their hands rebuking toward the youths. Just then
there drew near a beautiful Jewess, led by an aged
man, the latter garbed partly as an Israelite, and partly
as one of the Druses. He had a saintly mien, and fixed
the attention of the elders ; but, the young men, \vith
one accord, youth-like, at once erected, in silent wor
ship, an unseen altar of devotion to the new goddess.
The grouping was striking and suggestive. The
stranger was silent, and seemed to be intent on passing
by so ; but the elders felt their responsibility. It is
the fate of the religious leader to be expected to
explain everything. He must talk to everybody, and
about every matter. He cannot, when he will, keep
quiet and so get the credit for fullness of wisdom, as do
some. He must express an opinion, for silence is
deemed a greater sin in such than insincerity or words
out of ignorance. The foremost of the elders felt
called to act, and so confronting the two new comers,
sternly addressed the maiden:
" I perceive that thou art of my people ; wherefore
comest thou here, and in this companionship? Know-
est thou not that women are forbidden to be at the
first of the feast ?"
The young men were not in accord with the elder;
they stood apart, and some whispered to others
" It is Miriamne de Griffin. "
268 The Queen of the House of David.
The maiden shrank back a little ; but the saintly man
with her, advancing a step, replied :
" I am the maiden s guardian to-day, fathers, and
responsible for her act. Say on! "
The elder, though knowing full well who the speaker
was, and also fully understanding the import of his
challenge; pretended to have neither heard nor seen
him. He looked past the speaker, who was champion
ing the maiden, and continued :
" Do thy people at home know of these indiscreet
" Hold, Rabbi ! no insinuations." The saintly man s
voice was commanding, and compelled silence. He
continued : " We go our way, ye yours. Ye can not
help yourselves out of your miseries ; then presume
not to direct us." He checked his rising anger, re
membering that he was a religious teacher, and
launched out in a wayside sermon. "Ye children of
Abraham, hear me, though I came not to counsel. Ye
have stopped my progress, now hear God s truth !
There are dangers without, but greater ones within ;
though your eyes, being veiled, ye perceive not these
things. I noticed as I was coming this way that the
tombs and grave-stones every where have been whitened
recently. They tell me this was done so as to enable
your people plainly to see them and so avoid them.
Yet fleeing defilement of the dead, ye live in a grave,
all of you. All your prefiguring feasts have ripened
into a glowing present that treads out into a full
The old men seemed puzzled and angry; the young
men puzzled but glad. They welcomed any sermon if
rt came with novelty. They reasoned within them-
The Queen Proclaimed in the Giant City. 269
selves that the old teachings were dead, and that a new
creed could be no worse. If it were novel, it would
have at least a temporary freshness.
The speaker proceeded, for the congregation before
him, being divided in sentiment, invited him, so far, to
" Oh, nation, called to be the light of the world,
ye bear but phantom torches. Ye move sorrowfully,
surrounded by walls of cloud, but just beyond there
lies a glorious firmament, aglow with suns of hope and
a thousand golden-arched doors made of realized pro
phecies and promises ripened. Can ye make these
ruined habitations of mighty men, now sleeping in the
cliffs and valleys about us, again teem with their former
life? No, no ! yet less readily can ye make your dead,
finished, vanishing types take new life. Ye are puz
zled and partially angry, but hold in check the hot
blood. I ll soon depart ; yet before I go, I ll tell ye,
all, this for your deepest thinking : Ye can never cele
brate again the Passover ! God shut ye from your
Temple long ago to teach you this; these traveling
ceremonials of yours are but mockeries. The last real
passover was celebrated when your fathers slew the
" Let us stone him ! " vehemently cried the brawny
leader of the youths, and the elders turned their backs,
as if to give approval to the violence, but not incur lia
bility by witnessing.
The brawny youth seized a boulder as if to begin ;
the saintly man did not move, and another youth
seized the arm of the youth of brawn.
"Young men, I ll show you an entrancing picture,"
was the saintly man s calm words. They were in
270 The Queen of the House of David,
stantly intent. " Look, you and your old men
make the sign of the cross by your ranks.
Look again, by the cross stands this damsel, simple,
pure and loving ; an ideal woman. Her name, Miri-
amne, or Mary. Do not delude yourselves into the
belief that it will be safe or possible for you to silence
truth by murdering me. I d despise your attempt if I
did not pity your thoughtless rage. Do not forget the
picture of this hour. The Passover will be fully cele
brated when the power of the cross and the presence
of purity is universally felt in earth. Only your men at
tend this your sacrifice. It is well ; and when men
truly bear the burden of sacrifice, women will be at
their feast. Now, then, take heed. Farewell, an
cients ! "
So saying the saintly man of strange garb suddenly
turned away, drawing the Jewess with him. The elders
were confounded ; they could not find words at the
moment for reply ; they were stung by the pleased and
approving glances that the young men gave the de
parting couple. The elders would have been pleased
to have taken the Jewish maiden from her escort with
violence, but the latter was a brawny man. The elders
knew the youths would not aid ; to attempt it them
selves would be likely to be a failure, certainly undig
nified. They deemed it wise, in any event, to con
serve their dignity, and being unable to do any thing
more terrific, they hissed an orthodox malediction after
the departing man and woman. That made the elders
feel a little better. The two companies at the cross
ing of the streets fell to musing and conversing, but in
different groups. The old men talked as old men, de
ploring the present and be-praising the past ; the youths
The Queen Proclaimed in the Giant ttty. 271
deplored the present and be-praised the future ; some
of them trying to interpret the words of the saintly man.
They all wanted to be very orthodox Jews, and yet
they all felt that the stranger s words were full of
sweetness and good cheer. Some of the youths, like
others of their age, had unconsciously sided with the
strangers on account of the woman s influence. They
admired her, and the side she was on was charmingly
" The Arabs are coming ! "
It was a cry starting up from all directions, and
passed from lip to lip like the tidings of fire at night.
The city was soon in confusion and panic ; then mixed
crowds surged toward the crossing of the streets like
terrified sheep. They needed leaders or shepherds.
But the elders so lavish in advice usually, were dumb
with fright now. Yet every body looked toward them
for direction. Suddenly, the saintly man and the
Jewess reappeared ; as suddenly transformed to a self-
reliant leader, she cried out: "Youths of Israel, to the
defense ; the enemy rome in by the wall toward the Sun
Temple s ruins ! "
" Perhaps it s the Angel of Death, " cried the thick-
necked leader of the youths.
" The All-Father of the covenant forefend ! " groaned
some of the elders.
" Fathers," cried the Jewess, " pray as you can, but
we younger ones must fight as well as pray. Pray the
men to go to a charge ! "
" A Deborah ! " shouted the thick-necked youth,
Now lead and we ll follow !
" Shame ! " cried the saintly man. " Lead your,
selves ! "
272 The Queen of the House of David,
There was no need of argument ; the thick-necked
youth waved his hand to the other young men and
the / all dashed away to\vard the advance of the
enemy; all of the city having a mind to fight, becom
ing instant volunteers. But the elders, with a piety en
forced by prudence concluded to stay at the crossing
and pray. Perhaps in their hearts they reasoned that
if the enemy were repulsed they might claim the
glory of having sustained the fighters, as Aarons and
Hurs ; if the youths and their followers were overcome,
then they, the elders, might claim prescience and say
at the end : " We knew it were vain to resist."
Soon there were heard the shouts and clangor of
conflict. The fight was on. Miriamne breathlessly
carried the news to her mother.
The matron laid her hand on her bosom, not to still
a fluttering heart, but affectionately to toy with the
handle of her faithful dagger.
" Oh, mother, when will these troublous times end ?
what shall we do ? "
"Daughter, fight ! if need be."
" But we are only women ! "
" But this is woman s time ; remember Sisera ! "
Rizpah began dressing for departure.
"Oh, mother, wait! Let us send the boys for news
into the city. Perhaps the worst has not come, when
the mothers must take arms."
Rizpah silently assented. The boys were sent, and
in half an hour returned with hot and beaming faces.
" The Mamelukes are all slung out of the city ! Lots
of them killed," both exclaimed, between their pant-
* How brothers : is it all over? "
The Queen Proclaimed in the Giant City. 273
" Yes, all over ! They re gone ! Oh, you ought to
have seen how our young men and the Druses raced
them," interposed one.
" If it hadn t been for the Druses we d all been mur
dered !" cried the other. Then the brothers caught up
the narrative in turn.
"And, Miriamne, some of the young soldier-like
men, after the fight, went about shouting cheer s for the
the flag of Maccabees and the maid of Bozrah ! They
say the maid of Bozrah means you. What do they
intend ? "
Miriamne seemed not to hear the question. She was
engrossed with her own thoughts and thus was meditat
ing : " It s just as the Old Clock Man said ! The Druses
by their needed aid prove it ; the Jews need a Saviour ! "
" Boys," presently questioned Rizpah, "Were many
of the heretics killed?"
" Oh, ever so many ! Yes, and we want cloths for
the wounded," said the questioned lads.
" Now, may the alien dead rot ! "
"But we must bring cloths."
"Who says it?"
" The Old Clock Man told every body to help the
"And who, pray, is this Old Clock Man ?"
Rizpah was quickly answered by Miriamne.
" I know him, mother. He s the leader of the
Christians here, and a wondrously good old man who
heals the sick, feeds the poor, teaches the ignorant and
gives the true time of day to every body by the bell of
his religious house ! "
The mother fixed her eyes penetratingly upon Miri
amne for a moment, then frigidly questioned:
2/4 The Queen of tJie House of David.
"And since them hast disobeyed me in making the
acquaintance of a stranger, thou wilt now explain why
thou hast never mentioned to me this Old Clock
Man of whom thou dost seem to know so much!
Who is he? "
" Why, he s the Old Clock Man who mends poor
people s clocks, plays with the children and is doing
every body kindness ! "
" Some Christian witchery ! "
" Oh, mother, he s an angel if ever there was one on
earth ! "
" Is he a Jew?" almost hissed Rizpah.
" I ve forgotten to ask about that ; but I m cer
tain he is, if only Jews are good, for he is a saint
Rizpah s face wore a sneer as she again spoke :
" How canst thou tell, Inexperience ? "
" By acts. He goes nbout seeking poor people to
clothe and feed, and ne is their physician as well, and
will take no pay."
"Some Christian perverter, trying to seduce the
unthinking by pretended service. Beware of such,
Miriamne ! "
4< But healing the sick and setting people s clocks
right can t do harm! I m certain of that?"
" How sly; he would set all Jewry to Christian time
and faith at the same instant ! "
" I love his way, mother ; it is so good ; more I do
" The old knave ! "
" Oh ! mother, he is old, but no knave. Ought we
not to be reverent to the hoary head in the way of right
The Queen Proclaimed in the Giant City. 275
"Yet an old man may poison women and children.
I told thee the story of Agag once, daughter."
" I mean now to tell thee if this man be not a Jew }
let him be like Agag, hewn to pieces. Flee him as a
"He don t talk so. He says all mankind are broth
ers. Only to-day, he cried, to the men in the begin
ning of the fight, save your families as best you may/
kill the wounded Moslem with kindness ! " The rapid
converse of the two women was interrupted by the im
patient cry of the boys for wraps and lint. As they
started away, Miriamne darted after them, saying : " I ll
go and help those caring for the wounded."
" Wayward " called after her the mother, " remember
my commands. Keep away from the old Perverter,
and minister to suffering Israelites, only. God can
spare the rest ! Let them die."
In the midst of the suffering ones, Miriamne soon
found herself, and as might be expected ; there, too
was the " Old Clock Man." As they met he said,
laconically, " It is fitting that woman s tender hands
" Thanks," was her reply.
Presently Miriamne questions, with an unaffected
diffidence, her companion.
" Will you tell me your name ? "
"Call me father, that s enough."
" Ah ! but I can not, you are not my father."
"I may be."
" What jest is this ! I ve a father living ? "
" I am father to multitudes, but after the flesh, child
276 The Queen of the House of David.
" Oh, thy children are dead, then ? "
" Nay, some dead and some living , but, living or
dead, they are my children."
" This is a wilderment to me. Where is your wife ? "
" Everywhere. In early youth, with vows unuttera
ble, I wed my church. She is Humanity s mother, and
I the father of all of her children, who will let me serve
" And is this the Christian faith ? "
" It is mine, anyway."
" I like it. I m sure it must be safe ; being so good,
and so you may be my father that way. Are ihere
many fathers like you ? "
" Many, and many needed, else sin will make all or
" And you have no wife, no home ? "
"A home most beautiful, which, at sunset, I ll enter
through a door, once shut, not possible to be opened
by my hands, though its fastenings be but grass and
"You mean death?" As she said it, tears welled
in Miriamne s eyes.
" Weep not, my child, death is beautiful, at least
" O R , good man father. I do not yet know how to
think about you or these things that you say. What
made you so different from the people I know? "
" A woman, a lovely woman."
" Your mother? "
" Not as you think."
" Oh, then pardon my curiosity. You had some
love ? "
" Thou hast said it."
The Queen Proclaimed in the Giant City. 277
" Why did you not wed her ? Did she die ? "
11 A woman s question ? I ll tell thee all some other
time. I hear approaching voices."
" Tell me just a little more now ; do ? "
"Are the wounded all attended properly? Mercy
first, stories and sermons after."
" Ah, here come my brothers. I ll inquire ; " and
away ran Miriamne to a group of youths, singing a
roundelay, of which she caught but a few lines ;
"Jew and Gentile, Christian, Turk,
Equally shall share our work.
For Adolphus good
We d shed our blood,
For we have joined the balsam band,
To cure all troubles in our land.
We love the man,
We love the band.
We love the brothers of our balsam band."
Miriamne comprehended the situation in a moment,
and all radiant with smiles, bounded to the side of her
aged friend, crying : " Father, oh, you ve a bonny fam.
ily coming; over fifty youths and maidens ; some Jews,
some Gentiles. They ve been comforting the wound
ed and now have spontaneously formed some sort of
" That s praiseworthy so far," the saintly man replied.
" And don t blush ; when I asked the leader what
were their purposes and name, a dozen cried out at
once ; We re Father Adolphus s angels of mercy ?
"They could easily have found a better title, but
youth in its frank celerity interprets human need. We
ail must have a pattern or hero. That s the reason there
are pagans; not finding the true God, some invent one.
Anyway, God blesses the merciful."
278 The Queen of the House of David.
"Oh, these angels are splendid ; so earnest ; so happy ;
so every thing good ! They all wear balsam-twig
crowns, and are singing improvised ditties about chanty
and humanity, and such like."
" Praised be God if they mean them, daughter."
" Mean them ? Why they ll make the ancients groan
if they go to the crossways with their enthusiastic sing
ing. Black-frowns ! if they disturb the Passover sol
emnities, won t there be trouble?
"And Bozrah will never understand the meaning of
the ceremonial, the phantom of which meaning some
to-day are pursuing, until it beholds sweet charity
sincerely applied, rising with healing and life in its
wings to pass over savingly where humanity has pains
The old priest looked away toward Jerusalem, as he
spoke his voice meanwhile becoming very tender,
almost tremulous. Had one been able to enter his
heart, there would have been seen a memory picture of
Calvary. Miriamne was awed for a few moments ; the
old man was lost in thought ; presently she recalled his
attention : " Father, the band is just at hand. Shall I
introduce you ?"
" It is needless ; I formed that Band of Charity,
though I gave them not the name ; most all except
the recruits of to-day know me."
The singers went by, saluting the priest as they
passed ; obeying his signal to them not to tarry.
Miriamne turned to her comrade with quickened con
fidence, and with her usual impetuosity exclaimed :
I want to be what you like. Make me a Balsam-
ite ! "
" Thou hast a mother who might object."
The Queen Proclaimed in the Giant City. 279
"Oh, no, no; not if she knew all, as do I. :
"Some have called my work witchcraft."
" I don t care, since I know better. Make me a
Balsamite, now, please?"
" So be it, child. Put thy hand on thy heart and
repeat : I promise my Merciful Fatlier always to show
heartfelt kindness to all His creatures, especially those in
misery, because of His everlasting goodness toward my
" I promise that gladly. Is that all ? "
" Yes ; thy badge, a sprig of the evergreen balm*
shrub, shall teach thee the rest."
" Teach me the rest ? "
"Puzzled again, child? Well, I ll teach thee, and
the shrub shall recall my lessons. As thou dost
learn to love nature, as thou wilt when getting back
to a more child-like faith, nature will talk to thee
all the time. See, this is unfading; so is mercy.
When torrid suns make the shrub suffer, it sweats or
weeps these healing gums. Trials make all good souls
fruitful. Then see, this little shrub gives to the world
all it receives, transforming its earthy nourishments,
sunshines and showers, into a medicament for sufferers.
It is a type of the All-Giver. It has but three flowers,
and I read in these the signature of a Triune God.
This thou wilt, perhaps, read some time for thyself,
when thou hast learned the mystery of the Unspeaka
" My father, your wisdom is very beautiful."
" Would, my child, that my words ever be to thee
as the nuts of this little evergreen emblem, though
rough-coated, still filled with liquid of honey sweet