worlds. And it was the Feast of the New Moon
at Jerusalem ; the Feast of Venus at Rome ; of Khem
in Egypt ; but the crescent was hidden."
" I see, I see, Rhodes ; Mary and Mary s son were to
come forth ; all others eclipsed ! "
" It is attested by history that there was black dark
ness about the Sun Temple at Heliopolis as Christ was
bidding His mother and earth Death s good-night.
The Egyptian city of Osiris, by miracle, witnessed of
the great event at Calvary. Some there were prompted
to say: Either the world is coming to an end, or the
god of nature suffers.
"And Mary, wise and erudite, Rhodes? Tell us
more of her."
" It is finished! cried her son, and she passed
from the grief of those who agonize amid somber c
The Queen in the Valley of Sorrows. 43 5
monster pangs impending, into that quiet, subdued,
ripening sadness that comes over those who have
learned to say : Thy will be done At Cana s feast
her Beloved told her: l Mine hour has not yet come.
Now, she knew the meaning of the mystic words, and
saw His hour, with all its mighty imports, at last
marked in full ; all the prophecies gathered as into a
full-orbed sun ; the cross rose like a dial, mountains
high, the shadows on it telling eternity s time ! Mary,
the singer of the Magnificat her imagination fired,
her vision inspired, as she stood by that interpreting,
ghastly symbol, could see the course of the sacred past
emerging into meaning. Eve leading; the wealth of
her bloom no longer sacrificed to primeval, Astarte-
like intoxications ; the wings of the real tree of life
above her ; the serpent crushed beneath her heel.
Then, following, Noah, the man of the ark, symbol of
sheltering covenants between God and man, covenants
ever circled by bows of hope, ever surmounted by
dove-like peace. After these Abraham, with his typi
cal lamb, followed by a countless multitude of priests ;
laying down at the cross, as they passed, their temple-
pattern, the symbols of its service realized and ellipsed !
After these, Moses, the law-giver, with face serene at
law s fulfillment, in company with flaming prophets
innumerable, all rejoicing in visions realized. Behind
all followed Captivity and Hades, Christ s grandest
trophies, forever in chains ! Teutonic Knight of St.
Mary, thy queen saw all these, and as they passed
there rose to her view the White Kingdom of David.
Now, stand here where she stood; surrender mind and
heart to the Spirit and Word, then thou shalt behold
the radiant procession, the coming glory! "
436 The Queen of the House of David.
The Hospitaler ceased. Then softly, meanwhile
waving his hand as if entreating, Sir Charleroy spoke :
" Rhodes, wait a little ; don t say any more now.
I want to watch that procession. It seems to me I
see it. Oh, wonderful, all wonderful ! "
" He shall be called Wonderful."
There was a long, long pause, broken gently by
Miriamne, who, after a while, said:
" We d better return to the city ; the day is very hot,
and I m " She could say no more.
Silently Sir Charleroy complied ; silently all three
journeyed to their abodes. The Hospitaler was con
tent with his effort to proclaim the truths of Calvary,
and Miriamne was glad to leave her father to the full
benefit of his sacred, all-engrossing thoughts. Mir
iamne, in heart, was enraptured by her thoughts of
the mother of Jesus.
TWO DEAD HEARTS UNITING TWO LIVING ONES
" Let us alone regret, . . .
. Sorrow humanizes our race.
Tears are the showers that fertilize the world ;
And memory of things precious keepeth warm
The heart that once did hold them.
They are poor that have lost nothing ; they are far more poor
Who, losing, have forgotten ; they most poor
Of all who lose and wish they might forget."
NDER Miriamne s adroit and patient guid
ance Sir Charleroy and his attendants
made goodly progress until they reached
ancient Jabbock, bordering Giant Bashan ;
but at that point the knight made a stubborn stand,
persisting that he would proceed no further Bozrah-
" I smell Mohammedanism coming to me from the
East, and, having had enough of the Saracens in my
day, I ll tarry away from their haunts
" I must go, beloved, to the tomb of my dear
defender, Ichabod. I must go to Gerash to do the
pious offices of a mourner."
The maiden brought forward every reason her
ingenuity could invent opposed to the proposed deflec
tion in course. She enlisted the Druses guide?, whom
she had employed to accompany them hitherto, to aid
438 The Queen of the House of David.
her in raising objections, and they magnified the
obstacles in the way to Gerash with commendable
loyalty to their employer, the maiden, if not with strict
regard to truth. They all encamped, and the debate
was the sole occupation for hours.
" Now, Miriamne, hitherto my good spirit, thou
wouldst lure me to perdition! I ve been in the Lejah.
I m certain that black lava-sea is hell s mouth, and
Bozrah s its porch ! "
" So be it ; but if we go carrying the heavenly con
sciousness of doing our Father s will, we may carry
heaven to those gates."
" It s not my duty to go thither. I passed through
that purgatory once. Its horrors blasted my life ! To
return thither would be presumption."
" But you have forgotten the sunrise coming to you.
Each day, for months, as you have journeyed east
ward, you have gained in health of body and
" Dost thou mean that God blesses those who
plunge headlong to destruction, as the possessed swine
that ran violently into the sea?"
" Can not my father let faith silence the disquietings
of his wild fancies? The memory of a past pain,
though a persistent, is often a false teacher."
" Oh, I do remember. Some memories seem to
scorch the very substance of my brain ! I pray when
such come that God give me eternal forgetfulness. I d
rather be an idiot than have the power of coherent
thinking filled with such reminiscences!"
" Ah, if we all, always, had the wisdom, while gazing
into our dark, deep pools, to gaze until we saw at their
bottoms the image of the sky above ! "
Two Dead Hearts Uniting Two Living Ones. 439
" Well said, daughter ! Bozrah is a dark pool ! I
saw there only an image of the sky, and that very far
away ! "
The day of the foregoing they were wandering along
the flowery banks and over the forest-covered hills
that undulated away from Jabbock s ravine. As they
moved along the maiden plucked a hyacinth blossom
and affectionately fastened it on her father s bosom ;
just where he was wont to wear, when in England, his
knight s cross.
" Rizpah once placed a lotus there ; it made me
drunk ; a votary of pleasure, mad ; but Miriamne, her
daughter, places there the flower of serene, deathless
affection ! Sweet, thou art my good ange 1 , the flower
says to Gerash ! "
" Why, father! I do not understand ! "
" Apollo unwittingly caused the death of a beauti
ful youth, the friend of his heart, whose name was Hya-
cinthus. So says tradition, and it s so charming, I
more than half believe it ! Apollo, in loyal love, made
a flower grow from the grave of his friend. This is it !
See ; here s the color of the dead youth s blood. This
blossom is the flower of deathless friendship and I love
"A touching story, I ll remember it; but it seemi
to me the flower says, Bozrah, my father."
" Take this leaf, girl ; here."
"And what of this?"
" There, on that leaf, behold those signs, Ai Ai V
" I think some markings are there like what you say,
though never till now did I so trace them."
" That s the Greek cry of woe. The perfumes of
these flowers, in every field of Gerash, remind me of
The Queen of the House of David.
my duty. I must go to the tomb of the man that died
in my defense."
" A pious sentiment ; but duty to the living can not
be pushed aside by such a call. You have other and
living friends? "
"Yes, thou art my friend, lover, angel; but I ll keep
thee with me, my lamb."
" Rizpah and your sons ! "
" Rizpah my friend ? that would be amusing, if
it were not such a grim sarcasm. Oh, what a miser
able race she led me ! "
" Misery, like joy, in wedded life, is won or lost by
the deed of two ; not one. I shall not acquit my
mother; but were not there two to blame ? "
" Two ? no ; only one. I could not be peaceful with
" Be not too severe, and think a little ; did not you,
after all, do much to make your wedded wife what she
was at her worst ? "
" What, I ? Thou dost not think that ? "
" Yes ; I know the story of your espousal ; your
flight from Gerash, and then your after conflicts. You
knew before you determined against all opposing, in
the face of reasons most grave, and without any thought
of your adaptation to each other, to wed, that your
tempers, tastes, and trainings were in almost every
"Well, we loved each other sincerely ; our marriage
vows were honestly taken."
"Marriage; that settled it forever! Did you as
honestly keep as you took the vows, for better or
worse ? "
" Now that were impossible. Did you ever see your
Two Dead Hearts Uniting Two Living Ones. 44!
mother in rage, her muscles rising in a sort of serpen
tine wavings from her feet upward? Ugh! I hear
her sibilant, hissing words of scorn, now. They ll haunt
me forever. She was a lotus in love, and a boa in
" I may have seen her so, but out on the love that
lets such visions displace memories of the best things ;
a daughter, nurtured by her, can not ; a husband sworn
on hymen s altar, dare not forget."
" I tried to set her right, Miriamne."
" Not always with kindness unfailing. I ve seen the
scourge-marks on her heart. I ve heard her moan as
a wounded dove ; no, more piteously, as a deserted wife
and mother. You tried to set her right by forcing her
to your faith, that, too, when the girl-wife was weak
and exhausted by early maternity. You have been
wont ever to pity profoundly the holy mother who re
coiled fainting from the spectacle of her son scourged
to crucifixion. That pity is a fine feeling; but since
Mary s day is passed, it is finer to evince a manly ten
derness for living women moving toward their Calvary.
How you waste your emotions on the dead! Mary
Hyacinthus, Ichabod, have all, Rizpah nothing."
" See here, daughter ; let me look down into thy eyes.
I m of a mind to think the sun has gotten into thy
brain. It gets into every body s in this country." So
saying, he turned her face toward his own. It was a
bungling effort on his part to parry her thrusts with
ridicule, the last weapon of the defeated.
She was a little indignant, but yet too earnest to be
diverted, and so followed up her advantage.
"You were the stronger, every way, and fenced well
against your other self. The woman erred, sometimes
The Queen of the House of David,
grievously, perhaps, and you had your sweet retails,
tions. How sweet you can tell. Each blow at her, fell
on me, my brothers and yourself. Oh, it s the climax-
revenge to lay open with giant thrusts, monstrous and
keen, vein and nerve. One may mar a good purpose
by pursuing it cruelly. Were not your efforts to set
my mother right severe, sometimes ? "
" Did the eloquent Hospitaler put these fine words
together for thee, girl ? " testily questioned Sir Charle-
" No matter who sent them, if they be true words.
If you get angry, I ll be wounded. You need not try
hard to hurt me. I will strive to be all filial, while all
loyal ; but not more so to father than to mother."
" Well, but she was a rheumatism to me."
" So be it ; still she was part of you. Does one dis
member a limb that aches, or give it tenderer care than
all others ? "
" It is better, " said Solomon, to dwell in the wil
derness, than with a contentious and angry woman. I
got heartily weary of an ache that ached because it
"I ll place Joseph by Solomon."
" Pray, how ? "
" He espoused Mary and was with her, yet apart ;
thus showing God s idea of the needs of weary moth
ers in their trying hours, when giving their strength to
another being. Joseph was kept as a lover only, until
after Jesus was born, that his services might have a
lover s tenderness. I have heard that the manhood of
Jesus reflected the sweetness of Mary ; Joseph kept his
wife in those days sweet, so the kindness of that noble
spouse lived after all, an immortal influence. Joseph,
Two Dead Hearts Uniting Two Living Ones.
through Mary in part, determined the bodily traits of
the child Jesus; the latter influences all time."
" Why, truly, thou hast found a beautiful flower,
Miriamne, and I m wondering that I never saw it be
fore in Mary s life. But, finally, I tell thee I loved
Rizpah as my soul at first."
"Oh, yes; you both loved with almost volcanic ar
dor. My mother told me so ; but this very power and
inclination of passionate loving gave you each for the
other power of dreadfully hurting."
" Well, we ll speak further of this, perhaps, another
time. The hyacinth lures me to Ichabod s tomb."
" The rose, emblem of Mary, flower of wedded love,
is sweeter than the hyacinth. Go home to Bozrah,
father, I beseech you, so you may prove yourself still
a Knight of Saint Mary."
" Home? I ve none ! Bozrah is grim ruins within,
without. There, as only fit and in fit dwellings, abide
the cormorant and hyena. All hopes that ever centred
in that place for me were but dancing satyrs at the
last ; all loves but eagles with hot-iron beaks, which
devoured the hearts that fed them, then fled away ! I
hate Bozrah ! "
" You have a wife and children there. I a mother.
Where the brood is, there is home. Bozrah has no
gloom for us, save such as we make for it. It may
be a glad place yet. Remember that Kidron and Gol
gotha were made all beautiful by the fidelity of Mary
and the cross-bearing of Jesus."
" Miriamne, this parley is useless. Once for all, hear
me. Before I wed thy mother I took upon my soul
an impious, almost desperate, vow, that I d possess
her though the possessing ruined me. The strong,
The Queen of the House of David.
hopeful Knight of the Cross was domineered over by
his love. Before this I had some commendable prin
ciples and a little piety. What am I now, after long
driftings about through wasted years of prime? I m
the wreck of a man ; less ! a part of a wreck, trying to
get made over in a meaner pattern out of the frag
ments left. Thy mother unmade me ! "
"Adam said something like that of Eve."
" Don t interrupt me, Miriamne. The Jewish maiden
Zainab gave Mohammed, of Bozrah, the poisoned lamp
which ruined his health ; the Jewish Rizpah has such a
lamp. See me, wrinkled, hair whitened, all too soon ;
chivalry, morality and piety dragged out of me bit by
bit. I stand here the caricature of what I was or what
I should be. I m fit for neither war nor courtship.
I d make a pretty show attempting to court Rizpah!
I ve forgotten how such things are done, and, besides,
I m not the original Sir Charleroy she wed. Let her
find him, or his counterfeit, and be happy. The origi
nal Sir Charleroy and Rizpah loved each other desper
ately, but these that I know hate each other as desper
ately. I tell thee it would be legalized adultery for
these latter two to live under the same roof, pleading as
justification the vows of the other two ! Miriamne, I tell
thee that thou mayst tell it on the house tops, or hill tops,
as I ll cry it through eternity, if permitted, Sir Charleroy
and Rizpah, of Gerash and Bozrah, died long ago ! The
devil stole their bodies, put an imp s spirit in each, and
then parted them forever. If they ever meet it will
be by the fiend s device, that he may revel over their
warrings with each other ! Ah, ha ! What the Roman
arena was to the blood-thirsty populace, such to the
fiends the homes of the world when full of tumults!"
Two Dead Hearts Uniting Two Living Ones. 445
And Miriamne, alarmed by the outbreak, tried to
calm her father :
" Oh, father, you will need mercy some day ; merit
it by bestowing it. You suffer an unforgiving spirit to
inflame your passion ! "
"Forgiving? What s the use? I ve vainly tried
mercy ! "
"Try once more. The injured have resource so long
as the\ - have power to forgive. Remember Him who
in the great extremity cried : They know not what
they do ! Trust Rizpah once more ! "
" I do not see the shadow of a peg on which to hang
"You, a Teutonic Knight of St. Mary!"
" Thank God Mary was not a Rizpah ! "
" Mary had the trust of Joseph in those dire days,
when nothing but a miracle could prove her integrity.
She presents not only woman s goodness but that which
even the loftiest wife needs, the constancy beyond
measure of her husband."
" Joseph was advised by an angel. I not."
"As you love your mother, honor the woman who
mothers your children. They bear your image, yet she
alone, with a sublime self-forgetting, struggles to have
them grow up honorably, purely, and in the fear of God."
"She wants to make them Israelites."
"Perhaps so, and perhaps the Christian examples
she has seen give her no reason to wish otherwise. But
after all, her way is better than to have left them as
their father left them, to become infidels or nothing.
Oh, father, do not think me bold. I speak because I
love you ; as perhaps no other might care or presume
to give utterance."
446 The Queen of the PIousc of David.
" Well, girl, I guess I m a double man ; for, deter
mined to oppose, I feel a desire within to have thee
win in this argument. I m one compound of contradic
tions. I was a sworn bachelor, then a sworn husband,
now I m neither. I m a widower, with a living wife;
a parent of three children with only one. I bewail my
homelessness, yet run from an offered home. I confess
to being useless, yet see a mission most important at
my own door. Swearing loyalty to Mary, I disregard
all she exemplified of late revealed to me ; professing
to be a Christian, I live a life that would shame a de
cent Jew. I have a daughter, said by al] to be much like
me in temper, feature, and mind, yet we are here utterly
opposed in thought and purpose. I ve heard the pro-
foundest teachers in grandest temples unmoved to this
duty, to-day presented ; and, now, without the pale of
any church, in the wilds of Jericho, a mere girl, my
daughter, instructs me well ! This all proves that I m
the caricature of Miriamne s father. If I be Sir Char-
leroy, then I m beside myself ! "
" A good half confession ! Now for the atone
ment ! "
" What, a bundle of contradictions making atone
ment ? undoing the past ! more contradictions ? "
" Righteousness displaces all the contradictions of
" I could make no atonement except by contradict
ing a score of years, and going to Bozrah ! Now hear
me finally ; by the glory of God, alive, I ll never go to
Rizpah s house ! "
Miriamne felt that further persuasion would be futile
She made a last request, then.
" Will my father take me to the outskirts of that
Two Dead Hearts Uniting Two Living Ones. 447
city? I ll enter alone to comfort the woman who,
notwithstanding her faults, I believe to be the noblest
of mothers. She may not have a husband ; she has a
As the father and daughter rested at noon, not far
from the Giant City, some days after the foregoing
events, they beheld a single horseman from toward
Bozrah speeding along the great southern highway.
" I think he s a Jew and in peaceful pursuit. I ll
hail him," said the knight, " in the language of Gali
The rider, hearing the call, halted. Glancing about
him he discovered the source of the call, and promptly
reined his steed toward where the pilgrims were sitting.
Instantly he began in short, quick sentences:
"Wonder ; the face of a Frank, the garb of a Turk,
the voice of a Jew ! An old man, a young woman ! A
Moslem in company with his slave ? No, she sits by
his side ! A harem favorite ? No ! She is not veiled !
Ye do not look cunning enough for magicians, too cun
ning to be pilgrims ; not pious enough, old man, to be a
priest, and too pious-looking to be a robber."
"True, Laconic," said the knight, " I m at no loss as
"So it seems! But pray, Christian, Jewish, Druses,
Turks, who are ye ? "
"We re pilgrims, good runner."
" Ha, ha ; these pilgrims are a mad-lot, with piebald
customs ! "
"What news, runner?"
"What news! A plague in Bozrah! De Griffin s
twins are nigh to death De Griffin? May be thou
knowest him? Thou dost look like him : but he s dead
443 The Queen of the House of David.
Now his twins have no nurses nor mourners, but Riz-
pah, and I m racing to Gerash to see if I can find a soul
to swell her wailings."
The rider turned his horse and with a word, "Sslamet"
" peace," was gone.
Miriamne had heard enough, and now, with re
doubled vehemence, reopened her arguments and ap.
oeals to her father to go to her home.
" I ll not go into Rizpah s house. I tell thee thou
art inviting me into hell ! "
Miriamne, in turn, replied: "There is good any-
where for those that earnestly seek it. Mohammed,
they say, got his first inspiration in Bozrah, and he a
Moslem, a crescent devotee ! "
" Yes ; he wed a rich wife there, too, and she was a
saint. I may envy him in these things."
The young woman hastily entered the city and
stopped for a little time at the mission house of Father
Adolphus, briefly, hurriedly, to announce her return,
inquire the latest report concerning the illness of her
brothers, and to beseech the old priest to go out after
her father ; if possible, to bring him into the city and
to the desolate fireside.
" Well, well ; there, now, I d call thee bee or hum-
ming-bird, truly, darting from point to point, subject to
subject, if I didn t know I was talking to an angel."
The sincere compliment was unheard by Miriamne,
for she was gone ere it was sounded. The old man
shaded his eyes, looked after her a few moments, then
girding himself, hobbled down the street to seek at the
city s outskirt the waiting knight.
And Miriamne, with heart beating high, sped on
homeward. But as she approached it she slackened
Two Dead Hearts Uniting Two Living Ones. 449
her pace, with questionings as to how she had best en
ter, so as to secure loving welcome and in no wise per
turb by sudden surprise. She saw her mother through
the doorway, bowed and swinging back and forth. The
girl s heart divined all ; " My brothers are dead ! " The
mother seemed oblivious to all about her, and Miri-
amnc hesitated on the threshold. Just then the runner
galloped up to the open door, reined his steed, and ex
claimed : " Out of sight, out of mind ! Death, like
poverty, sifts our friends ! Ye can hire mourners
cheaper at Bozrah than at Gerash, and there are none
to be had without coins ! Gerash is distant. I had no
coins, and was a fool to start, wise to return ! " It was
Laconic, and he was gone before any reply was given.
Rizpah didn t even lift up her head to notice his com
ing or going.
Miriamne was glad of the circumstance, for the
runner gave her words with which to enter : " A daugh
ter never forsakes." She spoke thus, very softly.
Rizpah, perhaps not recognizing the voice, moaned
on, swaying as she moaned :
" Mother, mother ? "
Rizpah slowly lifted her eyes to the speaker ; then,
either by a masterful self-control or because sorrow
dazed, she slowly and without emotion, addressed the
" Thou here? So, then, my three are safe together,
before my eyes, in death. Thou wert buried years
Without another word the daughter and sister
quietly moved to the forms lying beside the mother,
and knelt down, bowing, her one arm flung over the
corses. Presently she reached out her hand and it
45O The Queen of the House of David.
met a warm clasp from her mother. The maiden knew
full well that it meant welcome. It was death s vic
tory ; expressive, unspoken eloquence. There were
four hearts ; two still in death ; two alive and breaking,
but the dead hearts somehow drew the living ones
together and then they beat as one, each all comfort
ing to the other. Two dead hearts bridged the gulf
between two living ones. There followed the embrace
and kiss of peace, and then Rizpah questioned :
" Wilt stay with me a little while, my only ? " there
upon she sobbed and was relieved.
" Stay? Yes, always 1 But when, the burial?"
" At once ! It s the plague and the law requires
promptness. O Death, thou didst do thy bitterest for
Rizpah ! "
Rizpah soon rose up and began to busy herself about
" Mother, tell me how to aid you."
" Yea, as I need. Thou and I wilt carry them to