In the evening Rabbi Meir came home. “Where are my sons,” asked he, “that I may give them my blessing?”
“They are gone into the school of the law,” was his wife’s reply.
“I looked around me,” said he, “and I did not see them.”
She set before him a cup; he praised the Lord for the close of the Sabbath, drank, and then asked again, “Where are my sons, that they may also drink of the wine of blessing?”
“They cannot be far off,” said his wife, as she placed food before him and begged him to eat.
When he had given thanks after the meal, she said, “Rabbi, allow me a question.”
“Speak, my beloved,” answered he.
“Some time ago,” said she, “a certain one gave me jewels to keep for him, and now he asks them back. Shall I give him them?”
“My wife should not need to ask such a question,” said Rabbi Meir. “Would you hesitate to give anyone back his own?”
“Oh, no,” replied she, “but I did not like to give them back without your knowing beforehand.” Then she led him to the upper chamber, stepped in, and took the covering off the bodies.
“Oh, my sons,” sobbed the father, “my sons, my sons!” The mother turned herself away and wept.
Soon, however, his wife took him by the hand and said: “Rabbi, have you not taught me that we must not refuse to give back what was intrusted to us to keep? See, the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: the name of the Lord be blessed.”
And Rabbi Meir repeated the words, and said from the depths of his heart, “Amen.”
STATUE OF LIBERTY IN NEW YORK HARBOR
“Liberty,” or Bartholdi’s statue, was presented to the United States by the French people in 1885. It is the largest statue ever built. The great French sculptor Bartholdi made it after the likeness of his mother. Eight years were consumed in the construction of this gigantic image. Its size is really enormous. The height of the figure alone is fully one hundred and fifty feet. Forty persons can find standing room within the mighty head, which is fifteen feet in diameter. A six-foot man, standing upon the lower lip, can hardly reach the eyes of the colossal head. The index finger is eight feet long, and the nose is over three feet long. Yet the proportion of all the parts of the figure is so well preserved that the whole statue is in perfect harmony.
The materials of which the statue is composed are copper and steel. The immense torch which is held in the hand of the giantess is three hundred feet above tidewater.
The Colossus of Rhodes was a pigmy compared with this huge wonder.
Scholars, who are enjoying the priceless blessings of that liberty which cost our forefathers so much treasure and so much blood,—have you read the Declaration of Independence? If you have not, read it; if you have, read it again; study it; make its noble sentiments your own, and do not fail to grave deep in your memories these immortal lines:—