The Emperor, admiring the generous humanity of the poor man, immediately made himself known to him, and said, “I desire that all these children may be my pensioners, and that you will continue to give them examples of virtue and honor.
“I grant you one hundred florins per annum. for each, and also, an addition of two hundred florins to your pension. Go tomorrow to my treasurer, where you will receive the first quarter’s payment, together with a lieutenant’s commission for your eldest son. Henceforth I will be the father of all the family.”
WORK PROCLAIMS A WORKMAN
A certain baron had an only son, who was not only a comfort to his father, but a blessing to all who lived on his father’s land. Once, when the young man was away from home, a gentleman called to see his father, and using the name of God irreverently, the good old baron reproved him.
“Are you not afraid,” said he, “of offending the great Being who reigns above, by thus using His name in vain?” The gentleman said he neither feared nor believed in a being he could not see.
The next morning the baron showed the gentleman a beautiful painting that adorned his hall. The gentleman admired the picture very much, and, when told by the baron that his son painted it, said: “Your son is an excellent painter.”
The baron then took his visitor into the garden, and showed him many beautiful flowers, arranged in the most perfect order. “Who has the direction of this garden?” said the gentleman. “My son,” said the baron. “Indeed,” said the gentleman; “I begin to think he is something uncommon.”
The baron then took him into the village, and showed him a small, neat cottage, where his son had established a school, in which a hundred orphans were fed and taught at his expense. “What a happy man you are,” said the gentleman, “to have so good a son!”
“How do you know that I have so good a son?” replied the baron. “Because I have seen his works,” said the gentleman, “and I know he must be talented and good.” “But you have never seen him,” said the baron. “I have seen what he has done, and am disposed to love him, without having seen him,” said the gentleman.
“Can you see anything from that window?” asked the baron. “The landscape is beautiful,” said the gentleman; “the golden sun, the mighty river, the vast forest, are admirable. How lovely, and pleasant and cheerful, every object appears!”
“How happens it,” said the baron, “that you could see such proof of my son’s existence, in the imperfect work of his hands, and yet you can see no proof of the existence of a Creator, in the wonders and beauties which are now before you? Let me never hear you say again that you believe not in the existence of God, unless you would have me think that you have lost the use of your reason.”