Silent tears of joy coursed down the cheeks of both sister and brothers. They were so affected by the result of their effort, together with the unaffected tenderness of Barzello, that for a short interval they could in no wise give utterance to their feelings. Perreeza was the first to break the spell.
“The most excellent Barzello will please accept the humble thanks of an orphan maiden of Judah, for his kind regards. The God of the fatherless and motherless will surely reward his servant, and cause blessings and prosperity to rest on his household. Thy kindness shall not be forgotten. Our daily prayers shall ascend to the God of Judah in thy behalf, with the smoke of our morning and evening sacrifices.”
“And I trust the youthful maiden of Judah,” said the officer, in a voice far from being firm, “will live to see many happy years in the fair land of the Chaldeans.”
The interview was at an end, and the youths of Judah quietly directed their footsteps to that beautiful mansion which was well known in that vicinity as the “House of Amonober.”
On the journey to Babylon, nothing of note transpired. The royal captives continued to receive peculiar marks of attention and very clear demonstrations of regard. They readily and justly concluded that all this originated in the generous heart of Barzello; and thus he became more and more endeared to them.
The King of the Chaldeans’ return to Babylon, at the head of his victorious army, was hailed with loud acclamations of joy. The great capital of his extensive empire was filled to overflowing with exulting thousands, to welcome the victorious monarch from a brilliant campaign. Proud banners floated in triumph on the high turrets, while a thousand minstrels filled the air with their high-sounding melody.
Nebuchadnezzar was as yet but a young monarch. He spared no pains to render himself acceptable to his people, by a worthy deportment and a liberal encouragement of all improvements throughout his realm, and especially within the city of Babylon. At this period, he was greatly beloved by his subjects, and his popularity was plainly visible in the unbounded welcome with which he was received and escorted to the royal palace.
Not far from the king’s palace stood a splendid mansion of broad and lofty dimensions. Within the enclosures, everything was arranged with faultless taste. In front, large beds of roses unveiled their charms, and sent forth their sweet fragrance. Each side was well ornamented with shrubbery, and the rear beautified with a garden abundantly filled with delicious fruits. With the permission of the reader, we will now enter. In a richly-furnished apartment within this noble edifice, sat a man of commanding exterior, attired in rich, military official costume. Caressingly on his bosom leaned a young damsel, over whose head sixteen summers might have gently rolled. Joy and gladness beamed in every feature of her lovely countenance.