The royal captives, on arriving in the city, were conveyed, according to the strict orders of Barzello, to certain appropriate apartments, prepared for their reception, and nothing requisite to their comfort and entertainment was left wanting. On the very first day of their arrival the God-fearing youths found themselves to be favorites in a land of strangers. The God in whom they trusted gave them adequate strength for their peculiar trials. They found themselves in possession of energy of spirit and courage, that was truly a source of wonderment to themselves. They thought of friends and home with all the fervor of pure affection; but it was not accompanied with those painful, agonizing emotions that are wont to accompany the remembrance of native land and absent friends; in regard to which state of mind they could well adopt the language of one of their happiest monarchs: “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our sight.”
It was about the ninth hour. The youthful group were seated together.
“Well, cousin,” said Azariah, smiling and looking round the apartment, “this has more the appearance of being guests of royalty than poor captives of war.”
“Yea, truly,” replied Daniel; “and in this we clearly see the loving-kindness of our God, by whom princes rule and kings govern.”
“Our kind friend, Barzello,” said Hananiah, “has promised to call on us ere the sun sets.”
“And he will certainly fulfill his promise,” said Mishael.
“We have proved him a genuine and a wise counselor,” said Daniel.
“And his loving-kindness shall ever remain deeply graven on our memories,” said Azariah.
“Perreeza hopes,” said the sister, “that it may be her good providence to be always near the good man, where she may often see his smiling face.”
“Our excellent master, under the direction of the King of kings, will order all things for the best,” said Hananiah.
“Let us always remember the parting admonitions of our good Prophet,” said Mishael, “and calmly submit our all to the wisdom of the Keeper of Israel.”
“Even so, amen!” replied the others.
Quick footsteps were heard without. The door opened, and Barzello entered the apartment. The youths unitedly arose, and bowed low, in humble token of respect to the noble officer.
“I trust my young friends from Judah find these apartments a comfortable resting place.”
“Thy servants,” replied Daniel, “are overwhelmed with thy kindness, and hope, in some sphere, by a true and honest deportment, to be able to show their benefactor that his kindness is duly appreciated.”
“And how does our young maid of Judah feel after her long journey?” asked Barzello, as he smilingly approached Perreeza.
“Thy maid of Judah is in good health; and being so well provided for on her journey, she experienced but a very slight inconvenience.”