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But Lampadephorus called once again, “There is pay. All this world is wholly at the charge of Cæsar: he will pay thee mightily.”
But the Jew cried back in anger, “Did I ask thee for pay? The Lord of the Heaven and Earth hath said unto me and unto mine: 'Thou shalt not kill,' and again, 'He that liveth by the sword, shall die by the sword.'»
“Then thou art a weakling, devoid of all skill, and a craven merely."
But Samson of Cyrene called after the Greek, as he went toward approaching battle: “I claim no warriorship, being priest.”
And the Greek cried over his shoulder, “I have depended on thee. See! now they will wholly destroy me, thy teacher, and my bones shall be counted by the beasts."
He joined his singing men in loud battle.
Samson drew still farther off, that he might not be tempted into the battle by the sounds. Against a mighty rock drew he, into its great hollow, with hands across eyes. He prayed, remembering both Temunah and Emah.
Shouted some of the forces of the Greek, "Lampadephorus is down, is slain.”
The Jew awoke, then, from his dream of far things, and beholding his Master on the ground, saw that a crimson fountain played from his side, and that his lovely eyes were turning glassy.
Cried he, “Shall I behold the barbarians triumph! By the very Sheckinah, not so. For I have slept in the tents of Japhet and of Javan,' and Javan hath ministered unto me, and he is my friend."
Took he the swords up which Lampadephorus had aforetime offered him, and gat not up upon his horse again, but, running on his own legs only and shouting, “Stand back, all ye unrighteous,” he drave a great path through the enemy.
And he brake the points from both his swords, but yet fought on and tired not, smiting all both hip and thigh, and from one portion of the field unto yet another.
And he slew a mighty force, and took many prisoners, and brought the captives unto Lampadephorus, who then said unto him: "My dimachærus, O my dimachærus! My friend, my friend!”
And the Jew kissed him, and bound his wounds. And the Master said unto him, “Thou, O son of Shem, didst not love Cæsar, but me, the son of Javan, the son of Japhet, me thou couldst not fail.”
1 Javan, a son of Japhet, was the ancestor of the Greeks.
THE STAIR OF A HUNDRED AND ONE STEPS THERE were, among the men that were captured, the leaders of a great piracy, Dysmas and Gestas and also Barabbas-men of violence
And, in the night, while yet the whole company lay resting, the leaders of the captured band, escaping the watch, ran away. But Lampadephorus said, "What matter? We shall get them still, either now or in the months and years to come. " And others of the captives pointed the man of Cæsar to where the treasure lay hid, an immense store.
And when the wound of Lampadephorus was healed (which was after many days) then said the Greek, “As we fare toward Petra (for thither, almost, shall we go, and thence thou mayest proceed unto Joppa, but I to Rhinocolura) I will teach thee things more useful and more beautiful by far than any I have hitherto shown thee. For behold! I now will no longer deal doubly with thee.'
“Hast thou so done ever 9"
“It is not good, generally, that any man should teach another all he knoweth, lest that other should on a day prove unfaithful and turn against his master's bosom that which he had from his lips.
“But now I am sure thou wilt never be unfaithful, and, as I have no son (at least I know not where he is—for one I had in early manhood, but he was stolen from me) to whom to leave these things, I will even now teach them unto thee-to thee who art better to me than many a son unto his father.”
With that he began to teach again and Solomon to learn. And lo! the Greek taught the Jew better than any man was ever taught before, especially that the Jew might always be able to defend himself with skill as well as with strength against comers of whatsoever nation, so long as life was in him to be defended.
And these twain wrought together, at the rear of the caravan, in daily exercise and arduous practice for full many days. And the people of all the other nations which were in the caravan beheld them at their exercises; but they, on their part, though curious, did not much learn, or try. But the Jew learned willingly.
But when the Greek solicited the Jew that he should accompany him, the Greek, to Rhinocolura, thence to Joppa and Rome-in that latter place to be a dimacherus before Cæsar, then said Solomon: “I am truly but a sorry priest, and yet a priest indeed and in sober truth am 1-not a dimachærus. For behold, the Lord hath chosen me, and I have, as thou well knowest, in my very bosom, the credentials of my calling. And it was long ago prophesied by Betah, of whom I have spoken to thee before, that, even though I should seek but mine own mere purposes, I should, on a day, go up to Jerusalem, there to become Jehovah's priest. See now, how that prophecy hath been fulfilled! When I left Pentapolis, it was wholly (as I thought) because I had done a great murder and I sought to escape. And, later, I did follow thee because I loved thee-though thou wast a worshipper of idols. Later still, I did take me on to Crocodilopolis, both because I loved thee and because I sought the man on whom I would be revenged. Then broughtest thou me to the desert of Sin-myself being, as I believed, on the straight way to mine adversary. And now I have followed thee, both because of thy heathen learning (which I very much love) and also to find mine enemy again. But behold! we draw not far from Jerusalem, being anigh unto Petra. And now I will do the will of Betah (which is the Lord's will also) and go on to Jerusalem by the Petra way. First of all I will be a priest. Thenafter, I shall find mine enemy."
Then said Lampadephorus, “Forgive me, for I have deceived thee. Thine enemy is not at Joppa, but at Rhodes. And they who said to thee 'Joppa,' (the captains of the ships in Crocodilopolis) were taught to do that thing by me, even for this purpose that I might deceive thee, and have thee by me where I fought-for who can stand against both Greek and Jew?"
The Jew forgave him, saying: "Could I hold aught against thee? thee who hast been my teacher in so many things! In no wise. But urge me not to accompany thee unto Cæsar, for I cannot go.”
"Not now, haply," said the Greek, “but later, on a certain day, , thou 'llt fight upon the sand before great Cæsar, and before all men, for I comprehend thee and thine exceeding great strength, and I do see these matters as it were in the book of destiny.—But thou speakest of teaching. I have taught thee Hellenism (with all which I have received from both the Babylonians and the Egyptians) and thou hast taught me Judaism, O sublime Theophorus, and so I am deeply beholden unto thee-albeit I never could become even a proselyte of the gate. Thy God is a good and great god. Would that I were able to understand Him.
“And now, since thou dost journey to Petra, I will give thee letters for that place, unto a certain Philostephanus, a great philosopher, and a kind of chief among the many in that city which do profess philosophy, of whatever school. And he, for the sake of thy Lampa
dephorus, will give thee an inn in his house, and will kindly entreat thee in all ways. And he hath two fair daughters, whom thou shouldest know."
Lampadephorus therefore writ and delivered to Samson the letters.
And they came, by slow degrees, with all their treasures, and all their armed men, and all their shackled prisoners, unto the precincts of the scarlet mountains which are called Edom, or "red." Lampadephorus was singing, like a nightingale in his mating time, Cleanthes' “Hymn to Zeus Nothing takes place without thee, O Lord, excepting that which bad men do because of their lack of sweet reason; but even that which is evil is altered by thee unto perfection, and is made to harmonize with all thy plans of beauty.”
When he had finished singing, he said: "Rememberest thou the day we met, O Samson-Solomon of Cyrene?”
Samson said unto him, "I remember."
Then said Lampadephorus again, “Rememberest thou the day we met, O Samson-Solomon of Cyrene?”
And Samson would have said again unto him, “I remember," but that he could not speak. For, at a little distance, he saw a Roman standard placed at a forking in the roads. He knew then that the soldiers had passed thither and planted the standard for a sign that there the ways did part, the one running upward unto Petra, the other outward to the coast.
The Greek, too, beheld the standard, and, while they twain rode slowly on, said he: “I am sometimes filled with sore misgivings as about my future."
“Yet why?" asked Samson.
“For that he they call Ophidion (which is chief delator unto Cæsar) hath made before Cæsar certain evil reports about me, saying (for one ensample) 'He knoweth too many things concerning thee, O Cæsar, having been in thy service far too long (for him) and he hath also a way, at times, of telling much truth, either in wood, or in color, or in polished form of stone.' And in this wise doth Ophidion poison the ear of the Lord of All This World against me, and that continually. And I do fear the Lord of All This World, that master whom I have served so long, for, though he is powerful, hence good to work for, he is jealous of his authority and sovereign power, hence ill to work for also.
“I have verily, as Ophidion maketh report, been too faithful unto Cæsar, so that he doubtless, as mine enemy well knoweth, often wisheth I were dead. True was this also when first I entered Rome, so that I
built me there a house on the borders of the Subura-leaving a tiny portion incomplete. That part did I finish with these mine own very hands, making a little secret door behind a statue of the goddess of wisdom-let it be as a secret forever between us—and the door did open on a privy passage and a secret stair—a stair of a hundred steps and one. Such a stair was that as often, even at the present day,
а is built in Rome and there is called scalæ Græce (or 'Greek stairs'). That stair led down to an aperture, closed with a massive obstaculum, which not many men indeed could lift.
“But get this up, and lo! a means of swift and certain escape! Even were seventy legions of great Cæsar but a little way behind thee, thou wouldst escape."
“Yet thou wouldst surely have landed, so, in the filth of all
“Yea, amid stercora and squealing rats and putrid corpses-and safety. And, as for things that are sore unbeautiful, why Rome itself is truly the jakes of all this world. And from time to time, as I pondered in my zotheca, all alone, I would turn to the goddess of wisdom, and, embracing her, press a spring which there was in her sacred bosom. And Pallas Athena would turn, and the door fly open, and the way be wholly clear—"
“Thou sayest truly—unto darkness. But every man should have his secret stairway,"
“Unto filth and freedom. For I do say unto thee that freedom is often to be had in no other wise than by filth. That is sore unbeautiful, and yet I, thy teacher, do tell it thee as being wholly true.Would it were not.”
And by now they were come to the forking of the way and the Roman standard.
Lampadephorus said unto the Jew, "I say unto thee truly that I do not wish to die, for I joy in all the world, its life, its beauty, its endless variety and inexhaustible strength."
"As I,” said Solomon, "in the thought of God, His mercy and His favor."
“Thou speakest truth," said Lampadephorus. “We are very different, thou and I, though both are strong and few could stand before us.-But let me not sadden thee. Look, Friend, unto the East. Thou art still in the young morning of life, and all the world is red with happy promise. May thy days be beautiful, both beautiful and true and good, or, the rather, good and true for this that they are