Dorothy looked at him as he spoke; and then answered: “Theophilus, you shall have the sign you ask for.” There was no time for more; the executioner placed her before the block, and, in another moment, with one blow, he struck off the head of the holy martyr.
“Those were strange words,” said Theophilus to one of his friends, as they were about to leave the court; “but these Christians are not like other people.” “Their obstinacy is altogether surprising,” rejoined his friend; “death itself will never make them waver. But who is this, Theophilus?” he continued, as a young boy came up to them, of such singular beauty that the eyes of all were fixed upon him with wonder and admiration. He seemed not more than ten years old; his golden hair fell on his shoulders, and in his hand he bore four roses, two white and two red, and of so brilliant a color and rich a fragrance that their like had never before been seen. He held them out to Theophilus. “These flowers are for you,” said he; “will you not take them?” “And whence do you bring them, my boy?” asked Theophilus. “From Dorothy,” he replied, “and they are the sign you even now asked for.” “Roses, and in winter time!” said Theophilus, as he took the flowers; “yea, and such roses as never blossomed in any earthly garden. Prefect, your task is not yet ended; your sword has slain one Christian, but it has made another; I, too, profess the faith for which Dorothy died.”
Within another hour, Theophilus was condemned to death by the enraged Prefect; and on the spot where Dorothy had been beheaded, he too poured forth his blood, and obtained the crown of martyrdom.
* * * * *
CAESAREA (s[)e]s [.a] r[=e]’ [.a]), an ancient city of Palestine. It is celebrated as being the scene of many events recorded in the New Testament.
Virtue treads paths that end not in the grave.
A line from Lowell’s “0de."
* * * * *
TO A BUTTERFLY.
I’ve watched you now a
full half hour
Self-poised upon that yellow flower;
And, little butterfly, indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless!—not frozen seas
More motionless!—and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!
This plot of orchard ground
My trees they are, my sister’s flowers;
Here rest your wings when they are weary;
Here lodge as in a sanctuary!
Come often to us, fear no wrong;
Sit near us on the bough!
We’ll talk of sunshine and of song,
And summer days, when we were young;
Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now!
* * * * *