The Young Captives: A Story of Judah and Babylon eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 174 pages of information about The Young Captives.

“I perceive that a certain part of the address, which struck me as rather unfortunate for us, was not looked upon in that light by my worthy cousins.”

“I suppose thou hast reference to that part relating to the change of names.  For my part, I am not overtenacious on that point, for to me thou wilt always remain ‘Cousin Daniel,’ and to thee, I trust, I shall always be ‘Cousin Azariah;’ and if the Chaldeans prefer to call me Bel-sha-bo-raze-ba-phoo, and my Cousin Daniel Sha-go-mer-zalta-ba-phee, or some other long name, let them by all means be gratified.”

“My worthy cousin is mistaken in regard to this point,” said Daniel, smiling, while the three brothers, for the first time in Babylon, joined in a hearty laugh.  “As far as names are concerned, they are welcome to add on the syllables to their hearts’ content; but, seriously, cousins, there is a point that, if not rightly managed, will entangle us in serious difficulties.  I have reference to that part which made mention of our meat and drink.  How can we, as Hebrews, defile ourselves with meats, portions of which are offered to idols, and with wine sacrificed to the gods of Chaldea?  This would be in direct violation of the law of our God.  To this we can never consent; and, moreover, we are not accustomed to these dainties, and such high living can never be conducive to our health and happiness.  Ye know, cousins, that from beholding the drunken degradation of those in high authority in Judah, our parents, many years ago, arrived at the wise conclusion that their children, in order to escape the pit-falls into which others had fallen, should never be counted among wine-drinkers.  To this desire of our fond parents we strictly adhered while in Jerusalem, although often ridiculed by drunken wit, and frowned upon by countenances flushed with strong drink.  Shall we, then, in a strange land, forget the covenant of our God, and violate our sacred obligations to our beloved parents?  No, cousins, this must never be.  I trust we may yet be excused, for we were informed that we would not be required to perform any act against our religious convictions.  Our food must remain simple, as in Judah; and by this we shall not only adhere to the requirements of Jehovah, but we shall also be better able to master those arduous studies which stand before us in such formidable array.”

“Right, noble cousin,” cried Azariah, hastening up to Daniel and grasping him affectionately by the hand; “always right!  On thee be the sole management of the business; and we are confident that, as usual, under the blessing of our God, we shall come forth triumphantly.”

“First of all, then, I must have an interview with our kind master.”

Footsteps were now heard approaching their apartment.  Daniel opened the door, and, finding there a servant of Ashpenaz, addressed him: 

“Will the servant of our noble master have the kindness to convey to him a message, in few words, from one of the youths of Judah?”

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The Young Captives: A Story of Judah and Babylon from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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