“His windows being open
and his chamber toward
Jerusalem.”—Dan. vi: 10.
The scoundrelly princes of Persia, urged on by political jealousy against Daniel, have succeeded in getting a law passed that whosoever prays to God shall be put under the paws and teeth of the lions, who are lashing themselves in rage and hunger up and down the stone cage, or putting their lower jaws on the ground, bellowing till the earth trembles. But the leonine threat did not hinder the devotion of Daniel, the Coeur-de-Lion of the ages. His enemies might as well have a law that the sun should not draw water or that the south wind should not sweep across a garden of magnolias or that God should be abolished. They could not scare him with the red-hot furnaces, and they can not now scare him with the lions. As soon as Daniel hears of this enactment he leaves his office of Secretary of State, with its upholstery of crimson and gold, and comes down the white marble steps and goes to his own house. He opens his window and puts the shutters back and pulls the curtain aside so that he can look toward the sacred city of Jerusalem, and then prays.
I suppose the people in the street gathered under and before his window, and said: “Just see that man defying the law; he ought to be arrested.” And the constabulary of the city rush to the police head-quarters and report that Daniel is on his knees at the wide-open window. “You are my prisoner,” says the officer of the law, dropping a heavy hand on the shoulder of the kneeling Daniel. As the constables open the door of the cavern to thrust in their prisoner, they see the glaring eyes of the monsters. But Daniel becomes the first lion-tamer, and they lick his hand and fawn at his feet, and that night he sleeps with the shaggy mane of a wild beast for his pillow, while the king that night, sleepless in the palace, has on him the paw and teeth of a lion he can not tame—the lion of a remorseful conscience.
What a picture it would be for some artist; Darius, in the early dusk of morning, not waiting for footmen or chariot, hastening to the den, all flushed and nervous and in dishabille, and looking through the crevices of the cage to see what had become of his prime-minister! “What, no sound!” he says: “Daniel is surely devoured, and the lions are sleeping after their horrid meal, the bones of the poor man scattered across the floor of