“In this most surely the illustrious son of my brother shall be gratified,” replied the Mede. “But why may we not have a short interview with this wonderful man, who appears to have more the attributes of a god than a mortal? Wouldst thou not be pleased to see him?”
“Then I shall send for him without delay.”
A messenger was, therefore, hurried to the house of the ex-Prime Minister of the Babylonian empire.
The Hebrew soon made his appearance, and such was the calm dignity of his bearing, as he slowly walked into the presence of his superiors, that both the Mede and the Persian unconsciously found themselves on their feet to receive him.
“Our distinguished friend has readily complied with our request,” said the Persian, beckoning Daniel to a seat on his right.
“Throughout the days of my pilgrimage it has been my great pleasure to render strict obedience to the will of my superiors in all things consistent with the law of my God.”
“Then thou considerest the law of thy God as having stronger claims on thy obedience than the laws of thy king?”
“The law of Jehovah is supreme! By that law my life has been shaped; and now, at its close, it is surely my joy and consolation.”
“Precious sentiments from a noble Hebrew!” cried Cyrus, with feeling. “And how long hast thou been a resident of Babylon?”
“Threescore and six years have passed away since thy servant bade adieu to his native hills in the land of Judah, and came to this great city of Babylon. The companions of my early days have mostly passed away, and soon thy servant shall follow them.”
“I trust that such a life shall be precious in the sight of the gods for many years to come. Such is thy deep experience in the affairs of state, that we have purposed in our hearts to appoint thee first president of the provinces. Is Belteshazzar willing to serve the king in this capacity, and shed honor upon the joint reign of the Medes and Persians?”
“My life, for the short period I may tarry among mortals, if ye consider me worthy, will be consecrated to your service.”
“Then, O Belteshazzar,” answered Darius, “thou art, by our united power and authority, appointed chief of the presidents. May the gods be thy support!”
Soon after his appointment, Daniel, in humble reverence, left the presence of the royal dignitaries, and slowly directed his footsteps towards his own mansion.