thy latticed window. Abram knows far better than I can tell or
see, the danger that your highness rests in at this very moment.
But fear not. We would give life like water to shield you or
any of our precious helpless women from harm or danger."
"Has Abram spoken of flight?"
"Ah, that he has." And Lot gathered his slow wits to-
gether to rehearse to Sarai all that Abram devised while flee-
ing from her door and sending out alarms to all the neighboring-
"T thought that Abram would not forget the grave necessity
of such a scheme."
Even as they spoke, a swift messenger approached, saluted
Lot, and told him he was wanted in his father's private council
chamber. At the same moment, he handed to the princess
a tablet, still damp and fresh from the hand that had graven up-
. on it the message. Sarai took the small missive, and quickly
slid the enclosing envelope away from the inner tablet, and as she
read the message engraven thereon, she said :
"Go, Lot ! Abram hath, need of thee. He charges me to
call my maidens, and all the women of the palace together" â
she was reading as she spoke â "and give them full warning of
our expected journey before the morning breaks upon the val-
ley of the Euphrates â mothers, wives, daughters, maidens, ser-
vants and slaves â all are to have a choice. But Trit â â¢" and
here the eyes of the princess opened wide :
"What of Irit?" asked Lot, anxiously.
"Abram says that Trit must be cherished very tenderly by me,
and kept by my own ])erson each mr)ment of this night. Not
for worlds am 1 to let her leave me, nor shall I fail to win her
constant regard and trust. Do you hear ? Abram is more anxious
over Irit than over Sarai ?"
"Nay, princess," Lot said, '^lowly. "thou dost mis-read the
77//: FKIKCIL O [â¢ UR. 23
message. I see some trace of anxious doubt in Abram's words
of Irit. I think he has no occasion." But Sarai took the words
of Abram to mean a very different thing.
Sarai took her rapid way to the inner apartments of women
of the household. Activity marked the usual quiet and placid
afternoon hours. No one within had as yet heard of the hap-
penings in the audience hall, but all were gaily discussing the
midnight ceremonies which were to dedicate and consecrate the
niajestic temple of Ur, so recently completed, and now rearing
itself aloft in the far end of the city.
The walls of delicate pale blue and yellow enameled bricks
gave forth a soft glow under the light of the numberless oil-
vessels or lamps, as they stood upon every projection and in dim
recesses, while the cabarets scattered about, held great silver
vases full of perfumed oils that burned with clear radiance. The
walls were here and there hidden by exquisite draperies of em-
broidered rugs and hangings, many of them rich with the cun-
ningly wrought stories of the wars and loves of generations of
princes and queenly maidens. Silver vases stood about, filled
with the tropic blooms of the river gardens, while low divans
banked themselves about the walls on which reclined the ladies
of the household. Here were mothers, daughters, and distant
or near female relatives of this great household, all now busy
with the gossip of the coming midnight festivals. One of the
ladies twanged a small harp, while others played games of dom-
inoes, or other games of chance. Confections, delicate rich wines,
dates, fruits, and dainty sweet-meats crowded the low tables.
Sarai stood in amazement at the threshold of this long hall.
For gathered in a group on the upper platform of the room
stood Terah's twelve small idols, borrowed from the gardens,
each in all its hideousness wreathed in flowers and with burning
incense filling every crevice of the low-ceiled room.
"What means this idolatry?" asked the princess, with quiv-
One of the older women of the household looked up serene-
ly and replied.
"It means, my princess, that we are propitiating the gods of
Nimrod lest his displeasure should fall upon some member of
"How can you do such things? You all know how wicked
such things are."
"Tush ! daughter of this house. I was living and worshiping
god before thy breath smote against the walls of thy mother's
bedchamber. .And I have learned long ago that all men are not
bad who worship differently from ourselves ; nor are the sons
and daughters of Rber and Noah worse than om-selves. T.eave
24 RELIEF SOCIErV MAGAZINE.
us, Sarai." And the unhappy princess returned to her own cham-
bers hopeless and helpless.
Nimrod sat heavily brooding in his private apartments. His
host had provided him with every luxury, viands of the richest
and most elaborate wines and dates with rich confections, crowned
the gol en tables which were set in the outer salon. His chamber
looked out upon the lovely courtyard of palms below. Slaves
from the markets of Ur, priestesses from the Ziggurut moved
about the perfumed interior with slow and velvety footsteps. But
Nimrod saw none of them. His eyes were fixed upon the huge
toes of his leathern sandals, and his thoughts were whirling round
and round in two squirrel-like ideas â "Abram, the man is alive,
when I kiled thousands of children to slay Abram the infant.''
And to it was added, "Sarai, the Daughter of the Sun, is under
this roof." These two deep impressions would revolve around
and around in the crafty mind till suddenly some explosion of the
will would clear a path for his vengeful feet to follow that would
be as plain as the raised street which led from the palace of Terah
to the ziggurat temple. "Abram â Sarai."
Just outside his low windows the court musicians were hum-
ming and striking their weird and soft melodies, for like most
collosal men, he liked all his luxury to be of the finest and most
delicate elements possible.
"Your highness, my lord â " began his chamberlain warily.
"What now â " roared his master angrily.
The man jumped as if a javelin had been thrust through his
back, but speech was necessary at this moment, so he continued
with cringing tones and attitude â
"Lord of the Universe, king of kings, greatest of all created
men, be not displeased with thy slave. But the high priest of the
Ziggurat attends upon your majesty to enquire if thou wouldst
condescend to lend the light of thy countenance to the evening
ceremonies at the temple of Mylitta. It is told him that numer-
ous of the fair young daughters of Ur go there this night to sit
upon the Sacred Pavement for the first time â and they have
waited â may it please your most gracious majesty â these many
moons, for this blessed day and time when the great god Nimrod
Bilu-Nipru, would be here in his own glorious person to glorify
and illumine the auspicious ceremony."
"Waited for me, have they? Well, most of them will wait
in vain. Am I a god? Yea, in majesty and prowess; but the
clods of nature still hang heavily upon me as the years creep
along." He still sat gloomily. Suddenly his features lighted up
"Call to me the prince of Ur â Terah â and my son Mardan.
TtlE PRINCE 01' UK. 25
Call them at once, I say. Quick, give thy feet wings. The Sa-
cred Pavement â tonight â ha, my Princess of the Sun-god, you
may not escape me now. Ha, ha, rest easy, my own soul â have
I not said that I am a wonder and a marvel? Who can com-
pare with me in all the earth? None, none! For was it not sai<l
by my grandfather Ham that I should be the mightiest hunter in
all the earth? And that nations so far in the womb of time that
their features could not be determined for millenniums should
know me and should proclaim my name and my prowess when
this earth is old and just ready for dissolution? Ha, ha, what
shall I fear? Naught but death â and death â here, slaves, call
me my augurers. Is not this the night before the Sabbath ? And
even I the king can not cast mine augurs tomorrow. Most mis-
erable fool that I was to perpetuate so gross a superstition upon
my people. But even I must obey mine own laws. So come â
ah, here thou art â Elgi, come â cast thine augurs, and see to it
that they are bright, or I will have thy head."
At that moment, the heralds cried aloud the names of the
Prince Terah, and Mardan.
"Room, I say, room for my host," cried the king lustily ;
"and my own mouthy weakling of a courtier son Mardan. Come
"Shall we not await a better time," asked Terah, who saw
the crowd of hastily summoned court priests arranging their
augurs in their tripods and vessels.
"Nay, nay, these sooth-sayers can continue their devotions
in the outer halls. I have but a short message to deliver into thy
privileged ears. Stand thou close my dear and favored kinsman
â Terah. Have I not â say now â have I not been thy friend ^
Have I not made thee great in the earth? Second only to mine
own place and glory dost thou not shine forth ? Have I not kept
my word pledged to thee when we were in thy first campaign â
old it was to me â even then â that swift onrush of arrowed men
â but new and very terrible to thee ? Say â have I not kept thine
and my pledge? Have I interfered with thee?"
"Nay, my lord the king, thou hast been true to thy word !"
"Ha, ha â thou sayst truly. For if all the sins and wrongs; of
Nimrod were laid up against his door, that of treachery to his
own plighted word would not be found therein."
"Speak not of sins, O gracious and holy one," said Mardan
softly, as he sat caressing the king's feet. "Thou art without sin.
Thy character hast been purged and purified by thy long service to
God and man till thou hast come out of the furnace of affliction
bright as gold seven times from the furnace pots. Thou art im-
mortal as the gods !" Thus spake Mardan, and his light brown
eyes melted with the swift hypocritical tears and overflowed into
26 RELUil- SOCIETY MAGAZINn.
his gorgeous abaya. His white hands clasped themselves before
his breast in an attitude of eloquence. Nimrod looked piercingly
at the eflfeminate youth.
"What art thou? Spawn of a mighty father and a mother
conceived in sin ? I know thy kind. And although I pay great
sums to have such things as thou sayest carved on my statues and
painted on my walls, when I am under the roof of Terah's house
I look for the bitter and wholesome truth even from mv own
Mardan colored to the roots of his hair. He had spent man\
weary hours in the schools of Ur and had been down to Nippur
to further qualify himself in the luxurious art of oratory and
courtiership. And now that so excellent a chance to use that
pliant tool had presented itself, he was so clumsy and awkward
that even the old and flattery-hardened king â his father â could
see how raw and crude were his methods. Paugh ! he hated him-
self, the king, and above all, he hated his shamed kinsman Terah
who had witnessed his second humiliation that day.
"Let us to business," cried the king, turning his back rudely
on Mardan. "Prince, I have but this moment accepted the
gracious call from my priesthood at the temple to go down to the
Pavilion of Mylitta, for this night's gorgeous offerings, and shall
remain there resting over the Sabbath day. I am told that there
are many choice and high-born damsels of this city who have
waited impatiently for this night and the honor of my presence
and favor. Say, hast thou not daughters in this house of thine?'"
Terah would have willingly had his tongue torn from its
roots, rather than answer that question to the king. But the
piercing gaze of his old kinsman and ruler was upon him, and be
knew the fire and flame which would leap forth at the least hesi-
tation or suppression from him. And if he himself would hide
portions of the truth, there was Mardan. What of Mardan ?
Traitor, ingrate, apostate? Ah, Terah's load was very heavy on
his heart. But speak he must. But how ? What should he say ?
Tell the names of those choice and beautiful daughters of his
household? Sarai â she was already in mortal danger from thi^
same besotted king. Milcah, Iscah, Irit â his blossoms of pure
and perfect womanhood. What should he say? His mind
worked quickly with the suddenness of his predicament and its
need. He was the arbiter of his children's destinies, so long a^
they remained ever so loosely under the patriarchal order of the
priesthood. Terah spoke â not from a thought taken, but from
one given from some source he knew not where.
"Sarai is, as you know, my lord, a princess royal of the house
of Noah. She is beyond my jurisdiction, except as she may ask
and receive my counsel. She stands, by virtue of the death of my
wives and their mothers, as the supreme priestess in this house-
n-IE PRINCE OF UR. 27
hold. Her hand has been sought by a dozen kings and poten-
tates ; but she would be a sorry mate to one whom she hated or
despised. She is her own mistress. Milcah â the little grey dove
of the courts of Terah â she, I have betrothed to her kinsman
Nahor, and their nuptials are about to be celebrated this very
night. So also with Irit, who is likewise to be given to my son,
Lot, this very night. They have all but been awaiting my return.
The marriages will be solemnized with due ceremony. Therefore,
your majesty sees how impossible it will be to comply with your
"Thy tongue runs away with thy wisdom. I said nothing
about thy daughters going to Mylitta's Pavilion. But I shall not
forget thv apparent wish to put an insult upon thy king â re-
member that ! Where is thy son Abram ? I would have speech
with him ?'"
"He is at this moment engaged in his priestly duties in our
own Holy of Holies. It would be impossible for him to leave the
altar at this time, your majesty. You know as well as I the sa-
cred nature of those ceremonies."
"Again dost thou offer a refusal for thy guest and thy king?
So thou sayst that Abram officiates at an altar? Hast thou or-
dained him to the priesthood? Does he wear the sacred robes?"
"He is, your majesty, a most worthy and faithful bearer of
the sacred preisthoods, which privilege he sought for with pravers
and fastings, for some years of his youth before I learned of hjs
devotion to the ancient forms of our common religion. So that,
when he sought me for the conferring of the rights and offices
of that sacred order, I could not gainsay him the privilege, but
sent him to Salem to be ordained by Shem. And there he hath
remained for thirty years. Since that day, I have been away with
thee so nnich of the time that I have left the sacrifices and the
ordinances entirely undone. On proper occasions Abram returns,
and then he also wears the sacred robes of the royal priesthood
as is his right."
"Hum â humâ" mused the king slowly. His mind worked
slowly, but his decisions were always reached with lighting
speed. The men before him waited with bated breath.
"It is well! Mardan, go you into the ante-chamber and
bring to me the latest news of my augurs â for tomorrow is to be
one of the greatest days of my whole life. And thou, Terah,
carry to thy" priestly son Abram this message: Tomorrow night
at the rise of the midnight sun, T shall expect him to be present
at the altar of Elkanah. there to oft'er up the human and gloroius
sacrifice which shall drench the newly prepared altar, for which
thou didst thyselfâ or thy workmen didst for theeâ cast the pat-
terns. There we shall ourselves await in full robes the coming of
thv son Altrani. and there he shall prove to all Clialdea his loyalty
28 RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE.
to God, his priesthood and his country. Nay, let me put them
again in their order to thee : To the god of Chaldea-Bilu-Nipru,
then to his priesthood, and finally to his country. Go, my worthy
servant and host. Thine audience is over."
Chuckling and chortling with unholy glee, Nimrod saw his
erstwhile companion in arms depart with bowed head and crushed
"I'll teach thee Abram â and thee Terah â and thee Sarai.
Sarai, ah, ah â Mardan, come hither, come hither quickly."
Mardan flew from the outer halls to throw himself at the
huge feet of his royal father, and with fawning kisses, he covered
the sandals of his master with assumed devotion.
"Thou young asp, tell me : What power hast thou in this
household? Cans't thou procure me a favor, the value of which
is so great to me that thou shalt become my supreme heir, and
shalt wear my own signet for all time."
Mardan arose, and with his arms extended, he said proudly.
â -"Speak, O thou most glorious one, and thy words shall be
obeyed, though in process thereof, it raze this palace to the
"Thou art too mouthy, my young brattling. But hist ! Come
hither. Cans't thou devise some scheme whereby the young and
beautiful princess Sarai can be brought to the Pavilion of Mvlittri
this night, after the shades of evening have fallen ? I shall pass
all the hours of the morrow's Sabbath in the Temple precincts.
But this night is mine own, and I shall have much joy if T can
with my royal person receive and initiate the beauteous Sarai into
the mysteries of Mylitta's worship."
Mardan colored and bit his lip. But after a moment's
thought, he said, with more decision and less pomposity: "Mv
lord is the lord of this whole earth. And if his wishes are ex-
pressed, it is the duty of his loyal subjects to see that they are
obeyed. T know not just how this may be done, but I crave thee
to lend me thine own signet, that whatever I shall ask of thine
officers and soldiers shall be obeyed implicitly. For mine own
retinue, I shall not require it."
The youth looked fixedly at the king, and then with three
swift and subtle motions he touched his head, his breast and his
knee. With as quick response, his father lifted his left hand up-
ward and then swung his right till they were above his head.
Mardan turned without a word and swiftly glided out of the royal
"Apostate to the core. In league with witchcrafts and black
arts, practiced by the sons of mine own father Cush. What black
shadows may not hang over mine own heavens with such a reptile
crawling beneath its horizon." Thus mused the king, as Mardan
THE PRINCE OE UR. 29
Nimrod now gave the signal for his magicians and priests
to enter, and together they bent in anxious scrutiny over the vari-
ous auguries and portents that had been cast while the king was
"Shadows, shadows, I see them, my wizards, thou cans't not
hide them from my gaze. The vampire has wings for a thousand
tombs before the morning light may ring its crimson belts on the
summit of the Ziggarut."
"Nay, your majesty. These are but the portents of the great
and last human sacrifice which thou hast deigned to permit to
dedicate this thy latest Ziggarut. It is meet that the gods should
thus signify their great acceptance of thy offering."
"True, true, thou mayst be right. I will not wish it other-
wise. But was it not said by father Ham that Nimrod would be
the greatest son he ever sired? Then who can dim that glory?
Send my steward of the robes. I shall be clothed this night in my
royal garments and robes of the priesthood, given to me by father
Cush, and from him obtained from father Ham through my
grandfather Noah, just after they had left the ark. Men may
have other robes, but it is Nimrod who owns and wears the very
robe given to father Adam when he was driven out from the gar-
dens of Paradise. Here, quickly, robe me in these invincible
garments. For no power of heaven or earth shall resist their
awful symbolism. The birds of the air, the beasts of the field, the
men of this puny earth â and why not the beauteous Sarai â pay
homage without stint to him who wears this most holy and mystic
The Pavement of Mylittaâ the Ziggarut, the Sabbath ! These
were the thoughts that flung themselves round and round in the
monarch's slow brain, and in and out, like tiny mice, blinked and
fluttered two names â Abram â Sarai â Abram and Sarai â heaven
â hell â death â life and beauty â Abram â Sarai â what engines of
power center in the brains of men ! Power for good or power
for evil ! But that power â how vast, how incomprehensible, only
God Himself may tell.
(to be continued.)
Mental Hygiene for Women
The twenty-five years, or more, which reach out heyoncl
the fifty-year mark for the woman of usual habits' of health, should
be years of reasonable occupation for the hands, of pleasant re-
flections to the mind, and of long hours of sleep and rest in the
quiet chamber, which should be her own. Modern methods do
not permit grandmother, always, to have this old-fashioned pass-
ing on of her active life. Instead of being allow^ed to work only
according to her strength, she is the most over-worked woman
in the community. Her strength has waned, but her ambition
has not yet passed, and she thinks she can do a great deal more
than she can. Consequently, she is generally over-burdened, and
is always attempting to do things which her strength will not
The grandmothers who read this article should take them-
selve.= in hand, and decide that they â and not others â -shall direct
the last twenty-five years of their lives.
What is the usual fear of the woman of fifty and past? Apo-
plexy, paralysis, and nervous collapse. These three are grim
goblins and they wonder which of the three goblins will get them.
Let such women remember that in the first place, if they will con-
rrol their appetite, and eat reasonably â eating only needed quan-
tities and those things that agree â apoplexy and paralysis are not
likely to occur to them. Nervous collapse is for people who spend
a great deal of time thinking about themselves. The most danger-
ous enemies to our peace of mind are self-pity, self-righteousness,
and self-indulgence. Whenever you are inclined to have a crying
spell, because you are not j)roperly appreciated, forget yourself,
and go out and find others who are not so well situated as you are.
Minister to them, and give to them of your tenderest sympathy,
and see if your own troubles do not fly away so quickly, you will
forget you ever had them. Fear is a very deadly companion, and
yet it haunts so many sensitive women, that it becomes almost
necessary to treat it as a disease. Then, we would say, forget your
fear ; put it far from you by filling your mind with other and hap-
pier tlioughts. Loneliness is another form of sufi^ering for those
who have reached the age of fifty and past, and yet. in this Church,
there is very little necessity for any woman â no matter what her
age or condition, to be lonely. Relief Society and Temple work
provides women with so much to hear, so much to contribute to
MENTAL HYGlEMi FOR WOMEN PAST FIFTY. 31
the happiness of others, that no Latter-day Saint woman has op-
portunity or time for loneliness.
No one should be idle. Idleness begets many sins and much
suiTering of body and mind, and, in fact, it makes its inroad into
the very spirit itself. Occupation, both pleasant and unpleasant
occupation â for we never reach a point when discipline of the
spirit is not wholesome and good for us â should be provided for
every woman. See that you prepare for yourselves, a line of daily
labor which shall be possible for you, or at least that shall be profit-
able for those about you. Do not overwork yourselves. Watch
for the danger signal ; and when you find that you are overtaxing
your physical or mental strength, stop, look, listen. And yet, in
this stopping, looking, and listening, do not always be watching
for signs of break-down, nor signs of disease in yourselves. Phys-
icians tell us that when we watch for a certain disease, it is pretty
apt to show itself in our body. A healthy denial of worry, or of
any evil, is about the best way to get rid of it. It is almost use-
less to say to women "Don't worry," and "Don't be anxious.''
But, at least, worry as little as possible, and be as little anxious as
you may. If you do not put helpful, beautiful, and building-up
thoughts in your mind, the other power will see that your mind
is well-filled with his own particular brand of reflection. "An idle
brain is the devil's workshop."
Blessed is the woman who has acquired the habit of reading
in early life. When she reaches the age of fifty, and goes beyond,
she is then equipped with the best and pleasantest mode of spend-
ing her spare time. Cultivate the habit of reading ; read light lit-
erature, if you cannot read the more serious, but spend some
time each day in reading the scriptures. Association with the