“Come,” said Nathan, “to my wife and children, that we may all return thanks together. Verily ’Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.’ ’Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.’ ’I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.’ ’My flesh faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.’”
So, uttering exclamations from the pages of Scripture, did the devout Jew pass onward to his home, which was once more filled with “joy and gladness, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.” Before leaving, Yusuf presented him with the ring containing the little stone, as a memento of his deliverance.
And Abraham? He received the full weight of the scourge; and may we be pardoned in anticipating, and say that for two days he lay nursing his wrath and his wounds; but, on the third day after his imprisonment, his agility suddenly returned. He managed in some inexplicable way known only to himself to work free of his fetters, and when the keeper came with food in the evening, blinded by the dim light of the cell, he did not perceive the little peddler crouched in a heap in the middle of the floor.
Scarcely was the door opened when the Jew bounced like a ball past the keeper’s feet, almost upsetting him; then, darting like an arrow between the astonished guards without, he was off. A hue and cry was raised, but the little peddler had disappeared as completely as if the earth had opened up and swallowed him.
Amzi at Medina.
“With half-shut eyes
ever to seem
Falling asleep in a half dream!
To dream and dream like yonder amber light
Which will not leave the myrrh-bush on the height.”
Without entering into detail it may be briefly stated that the success of Mohammed’s disciples in Medina was simply marvelous. Converts joined them every day, while those who were not prepared to believe in the Meccan’s divine mission were at least anxious to see and hear the prophet.
Amzi did no work in behalf of the new religion. He was simply an onlooker, though not an unsympathetic one; and, it must be confessed, he spent most of his time in that voluptuous do-nothingness in which the wealthy Oriental dreams away so much of his time,—sitting or reclining on perfumed cushions, a fan in his hand and a long pipe at his mouth, too languid, too listless, even to talk; listening to the soft murmur of Nature’s music, the night-wind sighing through the trees beneath a star-gemmed sky, the song of a solitary bulbul warbling plaintively among the myrtle and oleander blooms, the plash of a fountain rippling near with “a sound as of a hidden brook in the leafy month of June”; this, the exquisite languor of the East, “for which the speech of England has no name,” the “Kaif” of the Arab, the drowsy falseness of the Lotos-eaters’ ideal: