“I humbly beg my lord the king’s forgiveness,” replied the officer, with a smile; “but let me assure him that the noble youths have made no petition of that nature.” “But what do they ask?” asked the king, with some astonishment.
“They ask, O king, as the greatest favor, that this their young orphan sister, be permitted by the king to accompany her brothers to the land of the Chaldeans.”
“And has not this small favor been granted?”
“Barzello now stands in the presence of his sovereign in behalf of the Hebrew damsel, asking for her a permission.”
“And the permission is granted. And furthermore, Barzello, see that she is well provided for, and dealt gently with, for the maiden is of kingly line.”
“All this shall be strictly attended to, O king,” said the well-pleased officer, as he respectfully left the presence of the monarch.
It was now late in the afternoon. The “regent of day” was gradually fading from the sight of the inhabitants of the valley, and was smilingly sinking beyond the western hills, and Barzello hastened his footsteps toward his headquarters. After having reached his apartment, he seated himself, and indulged in some reflections, which, if we might judge from his countenance, we might pronounce to be of a pleasing nature.
While thug musing, he was roused by the entrance of one of his servants.
“What now, Franzo?”
“Three young men and a damsel stand below, desiring the favor of an interview with my master.”
“Let them be conducted into my presence; and see thou to it that they receive due respect from all below. They are persons of distinction.”
The sister and brothers were conducted into the presence of Barzello, where again they were received with peculiar attention.
“The officer of the king of the Chaldeans is always happy to meet his young friends, and will consider it a great pleasure to add to their comfort and happiness. And this young damsel, I am led to believe, is your sister of whom ye spake this morning.”
“This is Perreeza, our sister,” replied Azariah; “her sense of obligation to our noble friend for his generous feelings in her behalf, has prompted her to embrace the privilege of appearing in person, to acknowledge her deep gratitude.”
“It gives me much pleasure to behold your sister, but I am not aware of any service rendered that calls for a great amount of gratitude.”
“Thy servants,” said Azariah, “in compliance with the directions received this morning, are in thy presence to learn the will of the king, in regard to thy servants’ request, as made known to him through the intervention of his generous officer.”
“Ye did well to come at the appointed hour. I am always well pleased with strict punctuality. I am happy to inform you, that your request in regard to your sister is very readily granted; and, moreover, the king has given me particular directions to see that she has everything requisite to her perfect comfort in journeying, which directions will be obeyed with the utmost pleasure.”