The Young Captives: A Story of Judah and Babylon eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 213 pages of information about The Young Captives.

“I cannot, for my part,” said Scribbo, “see the propriety of elevating these contemptible captives to share equal privileges with the native sons of Chaldea.  Surely the king, in this, has betrayed a lamentable lack of discernment.”

“Truly!” replied Shagoth, with an air of consequence.  “And if he does not ere long see his folly, and retrace his steps, he will lose my confidence, and that of all the members of our house.”

“May the gods pity the king!” cried Apgomer, with a feigned solemn visage.  “Peradventure, that in the great pressure of business he forgot that the confidence of my illustrious cousins was so essential to his well-being, as well as the safety and perpetuity of the empire.”

“My remarks were called forth by the sensible statement of my brother,” said Shagoth, peevishly; “and it would have been perfectly excusable in thee to have remained silent, until I should have thought fit to make some remarks suitable to the capacity of thy mind.”

“My worthy cousin will, I trust, in the plenitude of his overflowing generosity, pardon the officiousness of his unworthy servant of limited capacities, and believe him when he assures thee that those remarks were offered as an humble apology for the great sovereign of the Chaldean empire; and I still hope that, in the richness of thy clemency, thou wilt forgive him.”

“I trust,” replied Scribbo, “we are able to appreciate thy remarks, and undoubtedly they will receive the respect they deserve.  If thou couldst have thy quarters removed to the society of these pretending foreigners, methinks it would better suit thy groveling taste.”

“Such a sudden bereavement might be more than my tender-hearted cousins could well endure.  May the gods forbid that I should be the means of overwhelming you with unnecessary sorrow!  And, besides, I fear I am not such a favorite of the gods as to receive such a marked favor.”

“A prodigious favor to be the companions of illiterate captives!” cried Scribbo, with a disdainful curl of his lip.  “The Chaldean who calls that a favor, is anything but an ornament to his country.”

“We may have different tastes in regard to ornament,” replied the good-natured cousin, looking with an arch smile on his cousin’s heavy and useless jewelry.  “As for me, I am a plain young man.  I value the useful far above the ornamental.  I consider healthy ablutions and clean linens far more desirable than the decoration of our persons with ornamental trash.  And why may it not be so in the government?  So much in regard to ornaments.  ‘Ignorant and illiterate captives.’  Ah, cousin!  Believest thou this?  Dost thou not rather hope that this is so?  Hope on!  The day of trial hastens apace!  Hope vigorously and diligently; for such hope is of short duration.  Ye expect, by your superior learning, to humble the youths of Judah in the presence of the king and his nobles.  Ye are sanguine in your expectations.  Already

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