28 July 2013

posted 25 Jul 2013, 20:48 by C S Paul   [ updated 28 Jul 2013, 08:13 ]

28 July 2013

Quotes to Inspire


Winston Churchill
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

Pope John XXIII
Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.

Charles F. Kettering
You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.

Dan Quayle
The future will be better tomorrow.

Lord Byron
Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with a prophetic ray.

Kahlil Gibran
Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream.

John Wayne
Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.

Hal Borland
Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.

Edward Payson Powell
The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months!

George William Curtis
The new year begins in a snow-storm of white vows.

Hartley Coleridge
The merry year is born Like the bright berry from the naked thorn.

John Burroughs
One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.

Oprah Winfrey
Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.

Mark Twain
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

G. K. Chesternut
The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.

Benjamin Franklin
Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce
We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

Ellen Goodman
We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential.

Delmore Schwartz
Time is the school in which we learn, time is the fire in which we burn.

Henry Austin Dobson
Time goes, you say? Ah, no! alas, time stays, we go.

Benjamin Franklin
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that the stuff life is made of.

Salman Rushdie
Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems -- but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems incredible.

Kahlil Gibran
Time has been transformed, and we have changed; it has advanced and set us in motion; it has unveiled its face, inspiring us with bewilderment and exhilaration.

John Randolp
Time is at once the most valuable and the most perishable of all our possessions.

Auguste Rodin
Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.

M. Scott Peck
Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.

Henry Miller
Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.

Agathon
This only is denied even to God: the power to undo the past.

Hector Berlioz
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.

Bernadette Devlin
Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.

Bruce Catton
Progress is the sum of small victories won by individual human beings.

Frances Hodgson Burnette
It is astonishing how short a time it takes for very wonderful things to happen.


It's how you see it
Author Unknown

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet.  He had a sign which read: "I am blind. Please Help."  There were only a few coins in the hat.

When a man came walking by, he took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat.  Then he took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words on the back.  He put the sign where it was, so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.

Soon the hat began to fill up.  A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. 

That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were going.  The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning?  What did you write?"

The man said, "I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.  I wrote: 'Today is a beautiful day, but I cannot see it.'"

Both signs told people the same thing... that the boy was blind.  But the first sign simply said the boy was blind.  The second sign told people they were extremely fortunate that they were not blind.  Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?

Moral of the Story: 
Be thankful for what you have. 
Be creative.  Be innovative.  Think differently and positively.

When life gives you a reason to cry, show life that you have 100 reasons to smile.  Face your past without regret.  Handle your present with confidence.  Prepare for the future without fear.

Keep the faith and drop the fear... just remember God is Near!


God's hands
Author Unknown

Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."

When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing.

Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy was sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing."

Then, leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was so mesmerized they couldn't recall what else the great master played. Only the classic "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

That's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't exactly graceful flowing music. But with the hand of the Master, our life's work truly can be beautiful. Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You can hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing."

-----

Feel His loving arms around you. Know that His strong hands are there helping you turn your feeble attempts into true masterpieces.

Remember, God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. And He'll always be there to love and guide you on to great things. Life is more accurately measured by the lives you touch than the things you acquire.


Keep your fork
Attributed to Roger William Thomas

A woman was diagnosed with a terminal illness and given three months to live. She asked her Pastor to come to her home to discuss her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at her funeral, and what scriptures she wanted read, and which outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Then she said, "One more thing... I want to be buried with a fork in my hand."

The pastor was surprised.

The woman explained, "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably say to everyone, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite time of the dinner, because I knew something better was coming, like velvety chocolate cake or deep dish apple pie - something wonderful. So, I want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and wonder, ' What's with the fork?' Then, I want you to tell them, ' Keep your fork, because the best is yet to come.' "

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he bid the woman goodbye. He realized she had a better grasp of heaven than he did, and knew something better was coming.

At the funeral, when people asked him why she was holding a fork, the pastor told them of the conversation he had with the woman before she died. He said he could not stop thinking about the fork, and knew they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.

"Keep your fork. The best is yet to come."


Little miracles - A True Story
By Samantha Mankin - Age 16

The worst day of my life was the day I lost my best friend. I had just came back from a camping trip with my grandparents. Listo, a golden gecko and my friend for more than two years, had to stay behind with my mom.

The second I got home I ran up stairs and to my room. There he was, just as he had always been. I lifted him carefully out of his cage and up to my face for inspection.

"Listo. Did you miss me? I know I missed you." I softly spoke. Listo cocked his head and gazed up at me, as if he knew what I was saying.

Listo was more than just a lizard to me. He always rode around on my shoulder as I went about my daily routine. If he wanted attention that he wasn't getting he would jump on my face. We went everywhere together, even the pet store to get crickets for him! Mark, the man who worked at the pet store we always went to, was constantly amazed at how calmly Listo sat with me. Listo was more than ordinary.

I gave him a ride down the stairs and sat him at the computer desk. Just as I had always done. As I typed away he crawled onto the keyboard and looked up at me. I grinned down at him and shook my head.

"Always have to get in the way, don't you? Are you going to let me get something done or not?" Listo continued to look up at me, grinning that permanent smile of his. I gently stroked him and moved him off the keyboard. Mischief, my kitten and sworn enemy of Listo, jumped onto my chair and curled up to sleep.

"Samantha! Go get your shoes on and take out the trash!" My mom yelled from the kitchen. I sighed. Good to be back home. I got up and ran to get my shoes. Listo was left by himself, but I trusted him to stay put. He always did. Mischief and Listo didn't like each other, but since he was sleeping and my mom was right across from them, I figured he was safe.

The approximate time of how long I was gone was less than two minutes. What could happen in that short amount of time? I ran back down the stairs and stared at the computer desk.

"Mom, where is Listo?" I asked, full of confusion. Mischief was nowhere to be seen. Listo was nowhere to be seen. My mom walked over to me.

"What do you mean?" She asked.

"He was right here on the computer desk. Now he isn't." Panic was beginning to set in. He was little and defenseless. With Mischief around Listo had no chance.

"Okay, lets just look every where. I'm sure he couldn't have gotten too far." My mom tried to reassure me. So we began to look under the curio cabinet, in the couch, in Mischief's mouth. We tore the house apart looking for him. Night had settled in and Listo was still missing. I was in shock. Tears poured down my face. How could this happen? It wasn't fair.

"Don't cry, please. You took good care of him. He'll be all right on his own for a few days. We just have to keep looking. He couldn't have just disappeared!" My mom hugged me. I dried my tears and continued to look. I started to search upstairs. I was desperate. Finally I plopped down on the ground. We had searched all morning and night. In two minutes my little gecko had vanished off the face of the earth!

My mom got the idea to bring his cage down and put it next to the computer desk. She said the sound of the crickets might draw him to his cage. I lay to sleep that night, but got none. All I could think about was where Listo could be and what would happen to him. Silently I cried for my best friend. I prayed for him to be okay. I prayed for him to come back.

Morning came, but it didn't bring Listo. My mom went to work and I searched. By mid-day I had worn myself out and every possible place he could be. My mom called to check on me before she came home for work. Disappointment rang in her voice and tears choked up mine.

Days went by and optimism dwindled. By the end of the week I had stopped looking except the hopeful glance under something occasionally. I just stopped caring about life. Food no longer appealed to me and talk just wasn't worth the effort. I couldn't sleep from worry and sadness. The times when I did sleep I dreamed of finding Listo. Some nights I dreamed of him dead or hurt. I hated night because it gave me time to think of what happened.

Weeks went by. I was better, but I still wasn't okay. At least five times a day I would go to his cage to take him out, only to realize he was no longer there. At last, I completely gave up. Hoping it would make things easier, I threw away everything in his cage and stashed his cage deep in my closet. It helped, a little.

An entire month passed. I no longer thought of my little Listo. Only when someone brought him up. Then the miracle I had been waiting for happened.

My mom, my sister, and I pulled up into the driveway from a shopping trip. Justin, my mom's boyfriend walked out to greet us at the car. A little clear container was held in his hand. I couldn't see what was in it. He arrived at my car door as I was getting out.

The second I saw Listo I burst into tears. I just couldn't believe it. A month! There he was, but not like he had always been. He was battered and bruised, skinny and frail. He was so weak he could hardly lift his head. Justin handed him over to me.

"I was watching T.V. when I saw your cat playing with something. I looked over at him and there was Listo, sitting right beside me. I tried to give him some water, but he wouldn't drink." Justin said to me. I looked at Listo and Listo started to drink. I just couldn't stop crying. All I could think of was that he was going to die.

We carried him inside and I brought him to my room. I held him quietly in my hand and the tears wouldn't stop falling. I gently stroked him and said soothing words to him. What was I going to do? How do you nurse a lizard back to health, after a month of being missing! I went back downstairs to ask my mom what we were going to do. She was on the phone with Mark, the pet store guy! She hung up and told me to calm down.

"Mark said to buy pedialyte and feed him with a dropper every half hour for 24 hours. Spray him every so often to keep him hydrated. He only has a fifty percent chance of surviving. I'm going to go get some pedialyte, and you just keep him company." She raced off to the store while I comforted my poor, little Listo.

All night long I stayed up with him. I fed him and sprayed him, and told him how much I loved him. My eyes began to droop at early morning, but I didn't fall asleep. It meant too much to sleep. By morning he was beginning to do better. He would bite the dropper, he had shed his dead skin, and seemed very alert. I knew he was going to be okay. When morning came I was exhausted, but happy. We went and bought all of his things again.

After 24 hours my mom called Mark again. He told her to buy small crickets and try to feed him with a tweezers. I was quite unhappy. My biggest fear was crickets! Ironic due to the fact that I bought a lizard! I knew that Listo needed me, so I got over it and tried to feed him. He refused to eat it. I tried and I tried, but I was fighting a losing battle. I decided to stick a few crickets into his cage and hope he had the strength to catch them. I slept that night better than any other night.

That morning I took him out of his cage and he went to the bathroom. He had eaten. Listo was going to make it!

Listo is still trying to recover, but we are taking it one step at a time. Everyday I am thankful for everyone's help. Listo wouldn't have made it without Mark, Justin, and my mom. Listo acts like he was never gone and still likes to ride around on my shoulder. Since he came back I don't leave him alone at all. There may be no evidence, but I believe he ran off because of Mischief. I also still have no idea where he was hiding and never will know.

I learned a very important lesson. Never lose hope. No matter how bleak it seems, don't stop trying. Miracles do happen!


Did you know ?

  • A queen bee lays about 1,500 eggs on an average day. 
  • A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top.  
  • A rat can go without water longer than a camel can. 
  • A rattlesnake's fangs fold inward when its mouth is closed so it doesn't bite itself. 
  • A recent study indicates when men crave food, they tend to crave fat and salt. When women crave food, they tend to desire chocolate. 
  • A Red Giant(a kind of exploded star) has a lower density than any vacuum here on earth. 
  • A snail can have about 25,000 teeth.  
  • A snail can sleep for 3 years.  
  • A snail can travel over a razor blade without cutting itself. 
  • A sneeze can exceed the speed of 100 mph. 
  • A soccer ball has 32 panels.  
  • A speleologist studies caves. 
  • A Sphygmomanometer measures blood pressure.  
  • A spremologer collects trivia.  
  • A starfish can turn its stomach inside out. 


Just for Laughs

The dead donkey

A city boy, Kenny, moved to the country and bought a donkey from an old farmer for $100. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.  The next day the farmer drove up and said, "Sorry son, but I have some bad  news, the donkey died."

Kenny replied, "Well then, just give me my money back."

The farmer said, "Can't do that.  I went and spent it already."

Kenny said, "OK then, at least give me the donkey."

The farmer said, "What ya gonna do with him?"

Kenny, "I'm going to raffle him off."

Farmer, "You can't raffle off a dead donkey!"

Kenny, "Sure I can.  Watch me.  I just won't tell anybody he is dead."

A month later the farmer met up with Kenny and asked, "What happened with that dead donkey?"

Kenny,  "I raffled him off.  I sold 500 tickets at two dollars a piece and
made a profit of $898."

Farmer, "Didn't anyone complain?"

Kenny, "Just the guy who won.  So I gave him his two dollars back."

Kenny grew up and eventually became the chairman of Enron.



BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST 

by Lew Wallace

Part Five 

Messala sends a letter to Valerius Gratus about his discovery that Judah is alive and well, however Sheik Ilderim intercepts the letter and shares its contents with Judah. He discovers that his mother and sister were imprisoned in a cell at the Antonia Fortress and Messala has been spying on him.

Ilderim is deeply impressed with Judah's skills with his racing horses and is pleased to choose him as charioteer.

Simonides the merchant comes to Judah and offers him the accumulated fortune of the Hur family business, of which Simonides has been steward. Judah Ben-Hur accepts only the money, leaving property and the rest to the loyal merchant. They each agree to do their part to fight for the Christ, whom they believe to be a political savior from Roman authority.

A day before the race Ilderim prepared his horses and Judah appoints Malluch to organize his support campaign for him. Meanwhile, Messala organizes his own huge campaign, revealing Judah Ben-Hur's real identity to the world as an outcast and convict. Malluch challenges Messala and his cronies to a vast wager, which, if the Roman loses, would bankrupt him.

The day of the race comes. During the race Messala and Judah become the clear leaders. Judah deliberately scrapes his chariot wheel against Messala's and Messala's chariot breaks apart. Judah is crowned winner and showered with prizes, claiming his first strike against Rome.

After the race, Judah Ben-Hur receives a letter from Iras asking him to go to the Roman palace of Idernee. When he arrives there, he sees that he has been tricked. Thord, a Saxon, hired by Messala, comes to kill Judah. They duel, but before it is over Ben-Hur offers Thord four thousand sestercii to let him live. Thord returns to Messala claiming he has killed Judah - so collecting money from both Messala and Judah, returning to Rome to open a wine shop. Being supposedly dead, Judah Ben-Hur goes to the desert with Ilderim to plan a secret campaign.

PART V - CHAPTER XII

The Circus at Antioch stood on the south bank of the river, nearly opposite the island, differing in no respect from the plan of such buildings in general.

In the purest sense, the games were a gift to the public; consequently, everybody was free to attend; and, vast as the holding capacity of the structure was, so fearful were the people, on this occasion, lest there should not be room for them, that, early the day before the opening of the exhibition, they took up all the vacant spaces in the vicinity, where their temporary shelter suggested an army in waiting.

At midnight the entrances were thrown wide, and the rabble,surging in, occupied the quarters assigned to them, from which nothing less than an earthquake or an army with spears could have dislodged them. They dozed the night away on the benches, and breakfasted there; and there the close of the exercises found them, patient and sight-hungry as in the beginning.

The better people, their seats secured, began moving towards the Circus about the first hour of the morning, the noble and very rich among them distinguished by litters and retinues of liveried servants.

By the second hour, the efflux from the city was a stream unbroken and innumerable.

Exactly as the gnomon of the official dial up in the citadel pointed the second hour half gone, the legion, in full panoply, and with all its standards on exhibit, descended from Mount Sulpius; and when the rear of the last cohort disappeared in the bridge, Antioch was literally abandoned--not that the Circus could hold the multitude, but that the multitude was gone out to it, nevertheless.

A great concourse on the river shore witnessed the consul come over from the island in a barge of state. As the great man landed, and was received by the legion, the martial show for one brief moment transcended the attraction of the Circus.

At the third hour, the audience, if such it may be termed, was assembled; at last, a flourish of trumpets called for silence, and instantly the gaze of over a hundred thousand persons was directed towards a pile forming the eastern section of the building.

There was a basement first, broken in the middle by a broad arched passage, called the Porta Pompae, over which, on an elevated tribunal magnificently decorated with insignia and legionary standards, the consul sat in the place of honor. On both sides of the passage the basement was divided into stalls termed carceres, each protected in front by massive gates swung to statuesque pilasters. 

Over the stalls next was a cornice crowned by a low balustrade; back of which the seats arose in theatre arrangement, all occupied by a throng of dignitaries superbly attired. The pile extended the width of the Circus, and was flanked on both sides by towers which, besides helping the architects give grace to their work, served the velaria, or purple awnings, stretched between them so as to throw the whole quarter in a shade that became exceedingly grateful as the day advanced.

This structure, it is now thought, can be made useful in helping the reader to a sufficient understanding of the arrangement of the rest of the interior of the Circus. He has only to fancy himself seated on the tribunal with the consul, facing to the west, where everything is under his eye.

On the right and left, if he will look, he will see the main entrances, very ample, and guarded by gates hinged to the towers.

Directly below him is the arena--a level plane of considerable extent, covered with fine white sand. There all the trials will take place except the running.

Looking across this sanded arena westwardly still, there is a pedestal of marble supporting three low conical pillars of gray stone, much carven. Many an eye will hunt for those pillars before the day is done, for they are the first goal, and mark the beginning and end of the race-course. Behind the pedestal, leaving a passage-way and space for an altar, commences a wall ten or twelve feet in breadth and five or six in height, extending thence exactly two hundred yards, or one Olympic stadium. At the farther, or westward, extremity of
the wall there is another pedestal, surmounted with pillars which mark the second goal.

The racers will enter the course on the right of the first goal, and keep the wall all the time to their left. The beginning and ending points of the contest lie, consequently, directly in front of the consul across the arena; and for that reason his seat was
admittedly the most desirable in the Circus.

Now if the reader, who is still supposed to be seated on the consular tribunal over the Porta Pompae, will look up from the ground arrangement of the interior, the first point to attract his notice will be the marking of the outer boundary-line of the course--that is, a plain-faced, solid wall, fifteen or twenty feet in height, with a balustrade on its cope, like that over the carceres, or stalls, in the east. This balcony, if followed round the course, will be found broken in three places to allow passages of exit and entrance, two in the north and one in the west; the latter very ornate, and called the Gate of Triumph,
because, when all is over, the victors will pass out that way, crowned, and with triumphal escort and ceremonies.

At the west end the balcony encloses the course in the form of a half circle, and is made to uphold two great galleries.

Directly behind the balustrade on the coping of the balcony is the first seat, from which ascend the succeeding benches, each higher than the one in front of it; giving to view a spectacle of surpassing interest--the spectacle of a vast space ruddy and glistening with human faces, and rich with varicolored costumes.

The commonalty occupy quarters over in the west, beginning at the point of termination of an awning, stretched, it would seem, for the accommodation of the better classes exclusively.

Having thus the whole interior of the Circus under view at the moment of the sounding of the trumpets, let the reader next imagine the multitude seated and sunk to sudden silence, and motionless in its intensity of interest.

Out of the Porta Pompae over in the east rises a sound mixed of voices and instruments harmonized. Presently, forth issues the chorus of the procession with which the celebration begins; the editor and civic authorities of the city, givers of the games, follow in robes and garlands; then the gods, some on platforms borne by men, others in great four-wheel carriages gorgeously decorated; next them, again, the contestants of the day, each in costume exactly as he will run, wrestle, leap, box,
or drive.

Slowly crossing the arena, the procession proceeds to make circuit of the course. The display is beautiful and imposing. Approval runs before it in a shout, as the water rises and swells in front of a boat in motion. If the dumb, figured gods make no sign of appreciation
of the welcome, the editor and his associates are not so backward.

The reception of the athletes is even more demonstrative, for there is not a man in the assemblage who has not something in wager upon them, though but a mite or farthing. And it is noticeable, as the classes move by, that the favorites among them are speedily singled
out: either their names are loudest in the uproar, or they are more profusely showered with wreaths and garlands tossed to them from the balcony.

If there is a question as to the popularity with the public of the several games, it is now put to rest. To the splendor of the chariots and the superexcellent beauty of the horses, the charioteers add the personality necessary to perfect the charm of their display. Their tunics, short, sleeveless, and of the finest woollen texture, are of the assigned colors. A horseman accompanies each one of them except Ben-Hur, who, for some reason--possibly
distrust--has chosen to go alone; so, too, they are all helmeted but him. 

As they approach, the spectators stand upon the benches, and there is a sensible deepening of the clamor, in which a sharp listener may detect the shrill piping of women and children; at the same time, the things roseate flying from the balcony thicken into a storm, and, striking the men, drop into the chariot-beds, which are threatened with filling to the tops. Even the horses have a share in the ovation; nor may it be said they are less conscious than their masters of the honors they receive.

Very soon, as with the other contestants, it is made apparent that some of the drivers are more in favor than others; and then the discovery follows that nearly every individual on the benches, women and children as well as men, wears a color, most frequently a
ribbon upon the breast or in the hair: now it is green, now yellow, now blue; but, searching the great body carefully, it is manifest that there is a preponderance of white, and scarlet and gold.

In a modern assemblage called together as this one is, particularly where there are sums at hazard upon the race, a preference would be decided by the qualities or performance of the horses; here, however, nationality was the rule. If the Byzantine and Sidonian found small support, it was because their cities were scarcely represented on the benches. On their side, the Greeks, though very numerous, were divided between the Corinthian and the Athenian, leaving but a scant showing of green and yellow. 

Messala's scarlet and gold would have been but little better had not the citizens of Antioch,
proverbially a race of courtiers, joined the Romans by adopting the color of their favorite. There were left then the country people, or Syrians, the Jews, and the Arabs; and they, from faith in the blood of the sheik's four, blent largely with hate of the Romans, whom they desired, above all things, to see beaten and humbled, mounted the white, making the most noisy, and probably the most numerous, faction of all.

As the charioteers move on in the circuit, the excitement increases; at the second goal, where, especially in the galleries, the white is the ruling color, the people exhaust their flowers and rive the air with screams.

"Messala! Messala!"

"Ben-Hur! Ben-Hur!"

Such are the cries.

Upon the passage of the procession, the factionists take their seats and resume conversation.

"Ah, by Bacchus! was he not handsome?" exclaims a woman, whose Romanism is betrayed by the colors flying in her hair.

"And how splendid his chariot!" replies a neighbor, of the same proclivities. "It is all ivory and gold. Jupiter grant he wins!"

The notes on the bench behind them were entirely different.

"A hundred shekels on the Jew!"

The voice is high and shrill.

"Nay, be thou not rash," whispers a moderating friend to the speaker.

"The children of Jacob are not much given to Gentile sports, which are too often accursed in the sight of the Lord."

"True, but saw you ever one more cool and assured? And what an arm he has!"

"And what horses!" says a third.

"And for that," a fourth one adds, "they say he has all the tricks of the Romans."

A woman completes the eulogium:

"Yes, and he is even handsomer than the Roman."

Thus encouraged, the enthusiast shrieks again, "A hundred shekels on the Jew!"

"Thou fool!" answers an Antiochian, from a bench well forward on the balcony. "Knowest thou not there are fifty talents laid against him, six to one, on Messala? Put up thy shekels, lest Abraham rise and smite thee."

"Ha, ha! thou ass of Antioch! Cease thy bray. Knowest thou not it was Messala betting on himself?"

Such the reply.

And so ran the controversy, not always good-natured.

When at length the march was ended and the Porta Pompae received back the procession, Ben-Hur knew he had his prayer.

The eyes of the East were upon his contest with Messala.

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