bring thee word : for Herod will seek the young child
to destroy him."
"Ha! the jealous old hypocrite! But I remember,
Herod murdered his wife. A man brute enough to do
that could easily seek the life of an innocent babe.
Apollyon ever be dethroned because of the appear
ing of one more devilish than himself, the dethroner
will be a wife-murderer ! " exclaimed Rizpah, almost
in a passion.
"Joseph took the young child and his mother by
night, and departed into Egypt.
" And was there until the death of Herod."
"So Jewry, our Jewry, gave one of its young
mothers a stable for a bed chamber, a manger for her
babe ; then refused her these by making her an exile.
Cruel Israel said go or be childless! Oh, Israel ! how
Pagan Rome defiled thee ! " passionately exclaimed the
Miriamne paused until the mother questioned :
" Was there a pursuit ? "
"A hot one, though a vain one; my manuscript
reads as follows :
" Herod had charged the Magi to tell him, on their
return from their quest, the abode of the Child born under
the star. He pretended to desire to pay it homage, but in
The Wedding, the Birth and the Flight. 311
heart he was intending to murder it. The Magi, impressed
by the goodness and sanctity of mother and Infant, never
returned to Herod to betray them."
" Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of
the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth and
slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all
the coasts thereof, from two years old and under,
according to the time which he had diligently inquired
of the wise men.
" Then was fulfilled that which v/as spoken by
Jeremy, the prophet, saying:
" In Ramah there was a voice heard, lamentation,
and weeping, and a great mourning, Rachel weeping
for her children, and would not be comforted, because
they are not."
" So a dark wave of misery rolled over Bethlehem.
Hundreds of women, weeping over their ovn dead, were led
to understand the cruel injustice of the spirit that drove the
Virgin and her child into exile, and that, until the end of
time, there will be sorrow in the homes of the land that
does despite to the virtues and characteristics exemplified,
so well, by that mother and that Child."
With these words Miriamne rolled up her parchment,
saying: " This is all there is written here."
"All? It is well, for thou art weary child. We ll
now retire ; to-morrow I must speak with thee about
the book. Good-night, now."
" Good-night, mother."
THE QUEEN WITH HER FAMILY IN EGYPT.
" It is curious to observe, as the worship of the Virgin mothei
,xpanded and gathered to itself the relics of many an ancient faith,
.low the new and the old elements became amalgamated. . . .
The Madonna assumed the characteristics . . . of the types of
fertility." ANNA JAMISON.
" Babe Jesus lay on Mary s lap,
The sun shone in His hair,
And so it was she saw, mayhap,
The crown already there."
HE day following Miriamne s readings to her
mother, she eagerly sought Father Adol-
phus that she might receive more of the
narrative, delightsome to herself and evi-
dently interesting to her parent.
Finding the priest at dawn in one of his accustomed
walks amid the ruins, she scarcely waited for his
"Peace, daughter," until she exclaimed, "More! I
want more of the story ! "
" Hast finished that I gave thee so soon ? "
" Yes, and read it all to my mother! Is that not
" Temerity ! "
" No ; it charms her. She has fallen in love with
the child-wife. Oh, what if rny mother should come
to think and believe as you then I would ! "
The Queen with her family in Egypt. 313
" Thou mayst alone ; but what part of the story de-
sirest thou ? "
" All ! Nothing less than all ! What became of
the Holy Family in Egypt?"
" Now sit down on this shattered column and I ll
recount to thee the traditions in order, leaving thee to
judge which is true."
" Tell me what you believe and I ll believe it.
That s enough "
" I scarcely am able to do that, not knowing whether
to believe or disbelieve some of the things reported.
But I remember them, and perceiving that though they
are only traditions, they are very beautiful and very
natural, I remember them with delight, that is very
near to giving them full credence."
" Then, so will I do."
" It may be the wise way, for I ve believed that the
good angels who, under God, watched over the little
outcast family drifting about in strange places, have
also watched over the drifting stories of their wander
ings, letting the facts profitable for us to kncw^, come
safely to us, though they have come without the seal
of authenticated history."
" Now, I believe all this, too."
" Well, then, ardent catechumen, listen. For three
years the queenly Mary, with her consort and child,
tarried in Egypt "
" How did they subsist ?"
" Oh, the God of the outcasts Ishmael and Elijah,
who provided water for one and bread for the other of
those two, was the One who sent the Holy Family to
Egypt with the charge that they be there until He
brought them word. Now. thou hast learned that
314 The Queen of the House of David.
when God sends any on His work He charges Himseli
with their support."
" Did they find friends in Egypt ?
" Thou wilt learn in time, daughter, that two of that
family had, as none on earth before, the secret of mak
ing friends. They had the love-enchantment from on
high, which has been winning its way ever since over
the world. But I ll proceed. There were in Egypt
at that time multitudes of Israelites who had sought
its refuge from the persecutions practiced toward them
nearer home. Doubtless these exiles received Joseph s
family kindly. Also, in all the East at that time there
were many artizan leagues, banded together to aid
their fellow-craftsmen. Joseph being a carpenter, I
doubt not, found among these sympathy and help."
" At what place did the family abide ? "
"Tradition says they tarried for a considerable per
iod at Heliopolis, the city celebrated the world over
for its splendid temple, where centered the Egyptian
Sun worship. To me this tradition seems most reason
able, when I remember that the child of that family
was pointed out before, by a miraculous star, which
led the Fire worshipers of Persia to his cradle. The
Fire worshipers of the far East and the Light wor
shipers of Egypt were much alike in their beliefs.
They were all seeking light, and, impelled by the ne
cessity of man s nature for some religion, revealed or
man-made, able to do no better, looked up to the sun,
the greatest light of which they knew. God s hand
was in that meeting of the old and the new. There is
a tradition that when the Holy Family arrived at
Heliopolis all the idols in the Sun Temple fell on their
faces. Be that as it may, the pathos of the poor
The Queen witli Her Family in Egypt. 315
prayers of the Light worshipers moved the Divine
Mercy to send them the Sun of Righteousness, and all
the handiwork of Rhameses, at On, lies in great, grim
silent ruins, while the faith that had its germ in that
little outcast family is overspreading the earth. Alas,
poor Egypt ! "
"Why poor Egypt ?" questioned Miriamne, wonder-
" Those living now are so like their ancients who, in
fright and helpless doubt, sought to save themselves
by placating both good and evil ; the light struggles in
Egypt to-day, entering slowly and often retiring. Yea,
poor Egypt, I pity thee ! But I digress. It is said
that the Holy Family also tarried for a season at Mem
phis, on the Nile, the city where chiefly was practiced
the worship of Apis, the sacred bull. Thou remem-
berest how Israel was nearly ruined by doing homage
to a golden calf at Sinai ? That calf-worship was the
same as the Apis-worship of Egypt. The Egyptians,
in common with all mankind of old, earnestly looked
for a manifestation of God in visible form an incar
nation. Their priests practiced on their pitiful yearn
ings and credulity, and taught them to believe that
their greatest god appeared from time to time undef
the form of a bull, which Avatars they, the priests,
claimed that they only could discover. The
Egyptians, highly esteeming endurance and pas
sionate vigor, readily accepted the animal pre-emi
nent in these things as the abiding place and ex
pression of their god. The Child Jesus, the
token of a better faith, was fittingly brought, there
fore, to Egypt s Temple of Apis. Thus the LigJit and
Immortality confronted that typified grossly at Mem-
316 The Queen of the House of David.
phis, and the incarnations that were as false as they
were offensive, were brought face to face with the In
carnation sung by the angels. The devotees at the
fanes of Memphis degraded man by preferring the
beast. He that made man a little lower than the angels
first, afterward exalted him to sonship by appearing
garbed in the likeness of a man. Christ, at Memphis,
was to do what Moses did at Sinai."
" I do not comprehend these words ! "
" As Moses ground the golden image worshiped by
Israel to powder, so Christ came to overthrow and blot
out of the world every vestige of the religions or be-
lievings that exalts the animal and degrades the spirit
ual in man. He heralded the age of gold and fire."
" And was Apis overthrown by the child? "
" Not immediately ; that is not the way of Him who
knows no haste ; but in His own good time its fall
came. Egypt, hoar with deep thinkings on the master
problems of life, death, eternity, did much in distant
times to color and express the beliefs of all peoples. It
became a school of religious as well as the theater of
some of their greatest, bloodiest conflicts. Let me re
call some of the steps. First, I ll begin with the re
vival of the true faith under Moses, which was the
revival of escape, the only way to preserve God s peo
ple from utter defilement. Thou hast read in thy
Holy writings how the conflict began between the king
and Israel s leader:
And PJiaraoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and
said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.
And Moses said, It is not meet so to do ; for we shall
sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord
our God: lo. shall we sacrifice the abomination of
Tlie Queen with Her Family in Egypt. 3 1 7
the Egyptians before their eyes, and zvill they not
stone us ?
We will go three days journey into the wilderness, and
sacrifice to the Lord our God, as he shall command us.
"Why was Moses so anxious to get away so far! "
"I ll show thee ; that was then a mystery, now ex
plained. Egypt worshiped a bull devoutly ; the
Israelites were commanded to sacrifice to God a red
heifer. The color, red, was an antetype of the saving
blood to be shed on red Calvary. Moses, methinks,
desired to get away that he might reveal this sacred
mystery, so far as he discerned it, to those to whom it
was sent. Follow me now with pious, frank heart.
The Israelites antagonized the customs of Egypt
sharply by offering before God the finer, weaker ani
mal, and now, girl, as I read of Mary and her child
waiting about Memphis, I discern the past and that
present meeting. It seems to me that He who thun
dered to Pharoah let my people go reappears in the
form of the child, the pitying shepherd, seeking the
lost sheep amid earth s offscourings. More, as I think
of Mary, the beautiful outcast, following the fortunes
of her Divine Child down into that dark land, and also
remember how His blood finally crimsoned her life, I
recall the red heifer offered on Israel s ancient altars.
Mary, for the world s sake, through her maternity, was
laid on the altar."
" Father Adolphus, you dazzle and yet convince me.
How wonderful all this seems! "
"I see the Holy Child in Egypt, the building nation
of earth, as the founder of a new order of building.
Now follow me, child. After the garden and the wilds,
where primitive man abode, there came the Tabernacle
3 1 8 The Queen of the House of David.
and Temple. When man enters into the benign influ
ences of social life, he begins building a house to shelter
and seclude his own. When he takes God or a god
into his society he builds a temple. If there be growth
and culture he decorates his buildings, hideously at
first, aesthetically after practice. Presently he becomes
a scientific builder and a philosopher. Then to him
life is all building. He grasps the thought that he is
the architect of himself, of his character, of his future.
If his religious life is deepened he expresses all his
philosophy, all his aspirations in monuments and tem
ples. Moses and Solomon, in tabernacle and temple,
but repeated the deeds of Egypt. But Egypt built
under the sun, the patriarchs under the Spirit. Egypt
had done its best, reached the end of its resources,
having filled the land from the Delta to the cataracts
of the Nile with pyramidial monument and august
fanes. But building under the sun, in the light of na
ture only, was building in the dark, at least half the
time. Christ, the architect of all that is enduring, con
fronted the achievements of those ancients as a merci
ful destroyer. He came to them to turn and overturn
that, after the ruins, their mind be turned to a building
upon and with the precious living Corner-Stone ! Try
to remember all this. Christianity is on the eve of a
new building age. The crusades are ended. Now for
religious palaces! But these in turn will be thrust
aside, that all may give themselves to build souls up
for eternity ! "
" I am dazzled good father, indeed ; but oh, I ca*
not remember all these things ! I m like a child in my
love for stories, and I can re-tell such to my mother, as
I can not these deeper things you utter."
The Queen with Her Family in Egypt. 319
" I forgot, child. But we priests preach by habit
everywhere ! "
"Tell me more of Mary and Joseph and Jesus. Were
the Egyptians kind to them?"
"As kind as the followers of the Pharaohs to the
descendants of Joseph ! No more. There was no more
room in Egypt for Jesus at His coming than there was
among His own people. But the God of Moses, ever
the living God, though opposed, may never be thwarted
nor killed ! "
" Oh, now do not tell me these things, too deep for
me ; just tell me the simple story of the sojourn in that
" So be it, girl. If I digress, recall me. They say
that the Holy Family found in that land a few to accept
them kindly. One such was a robber, who, happening
upon them, was at first about to do them violence ; but
he was restrained by the demeanor of the saintly
mother, and his heart was all changed toward compas
sion of the little company. Instead of robbing, he gave
them a temporary home in his mountain retreat. It is
said that he was the one to whom the child of Mary,
long after, while dying on the cross, companion in
death with that same robber, gave repentance, with the
promise of Paradise."
" How good and natural ! "
"Then there s another legend. It is that Mary and
her loved ones were met in that strange country by
one of the world s pilgrims of pilgrims a gipsy, who
was a sorceress. There s a charming little dialogue,
part in prose and part in verse, all about that meeting,
which I have hei e. I ll read it. The sorceress begins
320 TIic Queen of the House of David.
GlPSY I come, I come from the land of the sun,
From the dim, dim past of the far-off dawn ;
The waif of the world, the froth of the sea,
Of a clan that has been and ever shall be.
MARY God give thee grace and forgive thee thy
GlPSY Ye are pilgrims, too ; no lodge for to-night,
Ye are outcasts here in a flight of fright !
But the mother charms and my heart say come.
Ye may come ; shall come to my gipsy s home.
" The gipsy, Zingarella, took the babe in her arms,
but then suddenly broke forth into a mournful chant t
as she held the hand of the infant :
Here s a cradle song, and a tear and a moan ;
Here s a crown of thorns and a cross, when grown.
Here s a vale of blood and a black, black night.
Here s a flocking world and a rising light.
" And then suddenly falling upon her knees, the
gipsy asked alms ; but this time, as never before,
with both palms extended and craving neither silver
nor gold, but eternal life. It was granted. "
" Oh, father Adolphus, I ll never forget this story."
" Forget not, either, its simple lesson ; the gospel
comes to the very waifs of life, and so there is help
for the sinning, wherever found, in the Holy Child ; en
couragement to all holy longings in the meanest breast
of the meanest woman, once within that circle, all
radiant with the beautiful virtues of that Saviour ?
" Surely, I ll treasure this lesson, which is both balm
and heart s ease."
" I must go now, so must thou. I ll send at noon to
The Queen with Her family in Egypt. 321
the Reservoir, another parchment. Let one of the lads
meet the messenger. It will be suitable for reading to
thy mother, Rizpah. Be not so soon over-hopeful.
We must proceed with her slowly. Those most need
ing the light will curse it if, corning too suddenly, it
chance to dazzle. Israel still goes down all uncon
sciously to Egypt for gods, and the spectacle of man
changing the invisible down, down, continues every
where. Slowly, we who would be faithful, must raise
up His only true presentment. We must allure after
us, with all wisdom and tenderness, those we would
win, while striving ourselves to rise toward Divine ideals
ever beyond and above us. God bless my little mis
They parted ; and there were tears on Miriamne s
; but not of anguish.
THE SHADOW OF THE CROSS.
Day followed day, like any childhood passing;
And silently Mary sat at her wheel
And watched the boy Messiah as she span ;
And as a human child unto his mother,
Subject the while, He did her low-voiced bidding-
Or gently came to lean upon her knee
And ask her of the thoughts that in him stirred,
4 And then, all tearful-hearted, she paused,
Or with tremulous hand spun on
The blessing that her lips instructive gave,
Asked Him with an instant thought again :
OTHER, I ve another volume of that charm
ing story, full of wonderful things. Shall
we peruse them to please our woman s
curiosity, to-night ? "
"Woman s curiosity?" angrily ejaculated Rizpah,
" They say all women are inquisitive ; do they not?"
"They! The fling of the lords of earth ! Eater
up with anxiety solely concerning themselves, they
plunge into introspections and questionings pertaining
to their own worth ; the ultimate of their own precious-
ness, that they call philosophy. Our sex, in self-for-
getfulness, ask questions out of sympathy, and with
desire to help others ; that s curiosity! Faugh, the
fling is sickening! "
The Shadow of the Cross. 323
" My book is both curious and philosophical ; it s in
teresting to both sexes therefore. Shall I read ?"
" On thy promise to tell me later whence it came,
who its author, thou mayst read it to me."
Miriamne, perceiving that her mother was curious to
hear the whole story, though the former placated her
conscience by a show of indifference, responded : " I ll
begin with the return of the wanderers. " So saying,
she read :
" But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the
Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, say-
ing, arise, and take the young child and his mother,
and go into the land of Israel : for they are dead which
sought the young child s life.
" And he arose, and took the young child and his
mother, and came into the land of Israel.
" Being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside
into the parts of Galilee :
" And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth :
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the
prophets. He shall be called a Nazarene.
" Nazarene ! " Rizpah ejaculated, interrupting the
reader. " Does the word not taste like wormwood,
The maiden replied, adroitly : " We read the pagan
inscriptions on the monuments about us without
being harmed ! Surely we may safely read these
nobler peoples words and deeds." So saying, the
maiden continued :
" Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at
the feast of the passover.
" And when He was twelve years old, they went up
to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.
324 The Queen of the House of David.
" And when they had fulfilled the days, as they re
turned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem ;
and Joseph and His mother knew not of it.
" ; But they, supposing Him to have been in the com
pany, went a day s journey; and they sought Him
among thevr kinsfolk and acquaintance.
" And when they found Him not, they turned back
again to Jerusalem, seeking Him.
" And it came to pass that after three days they
found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the
doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
" And all that heard Him were astonished at His un
derstanding and answers.
" And when they saw Him, they were amazed : and
His mother said unto Him, Son, why hast thou thus
dealt with us ? Behold, Thy father and I have sought
" And He said unto them, How is it that ye sought
me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father s
"That was rude, was it not, daughter? Was not his
father s business his mother s ? He was young for such
philosophy, so like that of tyrant husband."
" He meant God s business ! "
" Then his earnestness was just. God first, kin
after mother or husband say I. Did the mother
gain-say him ?"
"It is thus recorded," replied the maiden.
" And they understood not the saying which He
spake unto them.
" And he went down with them, and came to Naza
reth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kcpf
ail these sayings in her heart.
The Shadow of the Cross. 325
" And He increased in wisdom and stature, and in
favor with God and man.
" Daughter, there was a fine spirit in that house ; it
was enhaloed by the girl-wife s character! No wonder
that the son increased in favor with God and man !
He was able to cope with the doctors mentally, yet
subjected himself to his mother. I ll certify that he
was wonderfully like his mother. The traits of the
woman that bore him are prominent in every man of
"And are fine daughters, like their fathers," laugh
ingly questioned Miriamne, as she glanced at a reflec
tion of herself in a metalic mirror suspended on the
wall before her.
"Ah, that depends on whether they have wholesome
fathers." Then, turning her eyes affectionately toward
her daughter, Rizpah continued : " Thou hast enough
of Hebrew in thee to leaven thee. Yet, let me plant
this in thy memory, my lamb, destined most likely
some time to lie in anguish on the altar of maternity:
Mothers determine beyond all else the fate of the world
by determining beyond all else the characters of their
offspring. Yea, girl, in the homes of industry, the bugle-
calls of the soldier, the moving orations of the holy
teacher, there are ever heard echoes of their cradle
days." Rizpah paused, drew a long sigh, and again
broke forth : " But, alas ! men and women walk in
pairs. How can the gentler of the two, alone, or
opposed by the stronger, succeed? I ve seen paired
birds battle the sly serpent, creeping toward their bird-
lings, victoriously; paired weakness triumphant over
huge danger; and I ve seen the lords of creation drop
ping serpents upon their own mates and their own
326 The Queen of the House of David.
nestlings ! If one would find a monstrous cruelty, he
must needs seek in human homes ! " Then the speaker,
pausing, bowed herself, and sat swaying from side to
side, with her hands over her eyes. Miriamne, accus
tomed to such action on her mother s part, and know
ing it was best when she was in such moods to leave
her to herself, withdrew quietly. Yet, Rizpah seemed
not alone to herself, for her mind was peopled with
ghostly forms from her gloomy past ; all painful com
panions, but still courted by the woman in her periods
of morbidness. Presently she slept ; the sleep of sor
row, that mercy balm of nature which comes to pained
or wounded humanity as the power to grieve or ache
is exhausted. The sleeper passed from consciousness
of things about her, followed by the forms that had
haunted her memory, and was soon among the wonders
of dream land. Then came to her the sound of
mighty contentions, and it seemed as if opposing forces
were in conflict concerning herself. Rizpah, of the
ancient, seemed to be trying to drag the dreamer
toward seven crosses supporting seven stark forms.
The babel of contending voices was silenced by others,