6 October 2013

posted 3 Oct 2013, 09:21 by C S Paul

6 October 2013

Quotes to Inspire

  • "If you haven't the strength to impose your own terms upon life, you must accept the terms it offers you." – T.S. Eliot
  • Someone once said to Helen Keller, "What a pity you have no sight!" Helen Keller replied, "Yes, but what a pity so many have sight but cannot see!"
  • "God, grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me!" – Cited by Andy Chap
  • "Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is so gentle as true strength." – Ralph Sockman
  • "The seeds of our death are present at the moment of our conception." – Dick Innes
  • "A father may know best, but a mother cares best, and children will pick caring over knowing every time." – Eric Fellman
  • "If humans evolved from apes, why do we still have apes?" – Unknown
  • "One person with passion is better than forty who are merely interested." – Thomas K. Connellan
  • "Virtue does not consist so much in abstaining from vice, as in not having an affection for it." – W.T. Eldridge
  • "You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips." – Oliver Goldsmith
  • If you want a baby, have a new one. Don't baby the old one. - Jessamyn West.
  • Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. - Proverbs 19:18

4-Finger Pianist

This story will inspire you... to realize how anyone can overcome adversity!

What do you do when you’re born with two digits on each hand and your legs are amputated at the knees when you’re three? Well, if you’re Hee Ah Lee, you become a concert pianist. She is quite a pro at it now, and you’ll love hearing her play... watch this video below:

Hee Ah Lee was born with sever physical deformities. She only had two fingers on each hand. And her legs ended at her knees. Her doctors didn’t expect her to live.

But she did live. At the age of six she started to play piano. At the time, her four fingers were very weak. She couldn’t even hold a pencil. Her mother hoped playing piano would strengthen her grip.

It worked. But more than that, Lee found a calling. She now tours the world, playing for stunned audiences. She plays pieces that would be difficult for able-bodied pianists.

TRUE Story according to TruthorFiction.com

The videos are real and Hee Ah Lee is Authentic. It is the story of a mother and a daughter who have overcome odds from the very beginning.

Lee’s mother became unexpectedly pregnant while married to a disabled man.  Doctors told her that because of a medication she had been taking her child would not be normal.  She elected to continue with the pregnancy and in 1985 in Seoul, South Korea, little Hee Ah Lee was born with only two fingers on each hand, disfigurement of her legs, and slight brain injury.  The hospital told Sun that she could not care for the child at home and relatives wanted her to place the child for adoption in a foreign country.  Sun thought her baby was beautiful, however, and was determined that she would live a successful life.

When Lee was a pre-schooler her mother decided that she wanted her daughter to take piano lessons and for two reasons.  One was that she felt it would help her strengthen her hands so she could hold a pencil.  The other was that she felt that if she could master the piano, she could master anything.   For six months piano schools turned them down then the one teacher who did accept the task got discouraged and wanted to quit.  It became a three-month contest of wills between mother and daughter that led to a confrontation in which Sun actually threw her daughter on the floor in frustration.  She said Lee got back up on the piano bench and for the first time played the children’s song she had been trying to learn.  That was the turning point and one year later Lee won the grand prize in a piano concert for Kindergartners. It was at age 7 that Lee won Korea’s 19th National Handicap Conquest Contest and was presented with her award by the President of Korea.

Today Lee is 22, has won numerous awards, and is a widely traveled concert pianist with more than 200 appearances.  Her first album titled “Hee-ah, a Pianist with Four Fingers” was to be released in June, 2008.

Lee gives tribute to her mother for challenging her to master the piano and said that although her training was difficult, “as time went by, the piano became my source of inspiration and my best friend.”


A 4-Year-old's Letter to God
A True Story -- Author unknown

There is a kind soul working in the dead letter office of the U.S. Postal Service somewhere...

Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God, so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could, so she dictated these words:
....................................................

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith.
(written by the mother of Mer Claire)
....................................................

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to: God in Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office.

A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had. Yesterday there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, "To Meredith" in an unfamiliar hand.

Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers, titled, "When a Pet Dies." Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

....................................................

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I am wherever there is love.

"Love, God"

A Night on Call - true story
 
By Ofc. Dave Gomez

In the Police Academy they told us over and over again to be ready for anything when we show up on a scene. As I am driving around in my patrol car a citizen calls 911 to report an issue in my city. The dispatcher takes the call, talks with the caller, and translates the conversation into a call type and a sentence or two that comes across my computer screen on what I need to respond to and where.

The dispatcher looks and sees the address is in my area and comes over the air to let me know I have a call holding. I acknowledge to her that I am en route to whatever call she has put in my que. She assigns the amount of officers depending on the call type. A fight situation might need 4 officers where as a vandalism report usually only needs one officer. The dispatchers have to use their best discretion on translating what is told to them over the phone into how many officers will go to the call. There are about 20 different call types that include traffic accidents, lost kids, property checks, drunk drivers, and welfare checks just to name a few. The dispatchers are awesome and they really watch out for our safety and do a great job.

En route to the call I always think through the scenarios of what might possibly happening so that I can formulate a plan of action. Sometimes a call comes across where it seems there will be a battle and it turns out to be nothing. Some times a call comes across that seems very small and it turns into a huge deal.

Last night I was dispatched as a single responder to a traffic hazard call.

The caller told dispatch there was a dead dog in the road that was causing a traffic issue. Fortunately it was 11pm on a smaller street and I knew there couldn’t be too much of a traffic issue so I was in no hurry. While driving to the call I didn’t even give it a second though. My plan was to get to the scene, move the dog to the side of the road, and let animal control know they needed to pick it up in the morning. I was already finished with the call before I got there and did not even contemplate there could possibly be more to the story.

As I approached the area I turned on my spotlight and easily found the dog as it was a large retriever dog and was right in the middle of a two lane road. I turned on my overheads (blue and red flashing lights) so no one would run me over as I was moving the dog. One truck approached and went around me pausing briefly to look at the dog on the roadway. I was putting on rubber gloves to move the dog when a smaller passenger car approached and came to a stop right next to the dog. As I looked inside I saw a woman in her late 40’s open the window and lean out to look at the dog. I was about to tell her to move on as she was blocking the only route around my patrol car. As I approached her she put her head back into her seat, covered her face with her hands, and started uncontrollably sobbing. I was not sure if she really loved dogs or if this was her dog that had been hit. I approached her window and asked her if it was her dog that was on the road. She could only slightly nod her head yes through her tears. I asked her to move over to the side of the road so that other traffic could pass and I would be right there to talk to her.

I moved the dog to the opposite side of the road from where the lady had parked and turned my car around and parked directly behind the lady. I approached the vehicle and gave her a moment to calm down because I couldn’t understand anything she was saying through her sobs. Once she could talk she explained that her son was in the military and had been killed last month. She explained this was his dog, “Charlie” and that it was the best reminder she had of her dead son. She broke down sobbing again as she tried to explain to me that she didn’t know how she would tell her two grandchildren that Charlie had been killed such a short time after their father had been killed. At this time I had to take a step back and compose myself and try and be as strong as I could for this poor lady. In the end all I could do was put a hand on her shoulder and tell her I was sorry for her loss.

The lady had a 15 year old son in the car with her. The 15 year old was being very brave himself and trying to comfort his mom as best he could. I asked her if she had any family close by she would like me to call for her and she said she just moved here recently to be by the grand-kids and didn’t have family here. The 15 year old did not have a license and could not drive her home like I would have liked. I told her I would follow her home to make sure she got home safe as I was very concerned for her.

Before we left the scene she asked if I would take the collar off Charlie so that she could bury it and remember him. I told her of course I would get the collar for her. I took Charlie’s collar off him and placed it in a small brown paper evidence bag. I went to the opposite side of the car and gave the bag to the 15 year old who was quietly sitting in the passenger seat. I explained to the 15 year old as I gave him the bag that he would have to be the man of the house tonight and take extra good care of his mother. He bravely took the bag and placed it under his seat where his mom could not see it and said he would do his best to take care of her.

I followed her to her house which was very close and made sure she made it home safe. I waved goodbye and cleared my call so that I would be available for the next call to come across my computer screen.

A short while later I ended up transporting a young lady to jail for a probation violation. It is about a 15 minute drive time to the jail from any place in the city and I often talk with my passengers. This young lady began to tell me how rough her month and year had been. I told her the story about the dog in the road that I had just come from and her attitude quickly changed. While still upset she was going to jail she decided some people have much tougher problems.

I signed up for this job because of the adventure and the excitement. You never know what will be at the address you are going to and I love every bit of it.

It will be a while before I go to a traffic hazard call without thinking of Charlie the dog who was a much bigger story than could fit onto two lines of my computer screen.


A Story of Miracles by 
By Marta C., 7th-grader

The staff at Inspire 21 was extremely pleased to receive this inspirational story about miracles from a remarkable 7th-grader. We hope you enjoy her story as much as we did.
______________

When I was only 18 months old, I was diagnosed with lead poisoning. I was supposed to end up in the hospital in a wheelchair.

My parents told me that the day I was brought into the hospital, my face was yellow and I wouldn't stop crying. The doctor said it was permanent. But in just one month, I
went back to the doctor, and he said the lead poisoning was completely gone. My parents had prayed for me throughout the whole month, hoping it would go away.

My dad always drank. My older brother and I always got scared of him when he came home drunk. One day, my dad had to go to the hospital because he drank too much. He was in the hospital for one month, and I prayed every day for him to get better. My dad was in pain and agony, and no medicine made him feel better. By the time my dad was able to come home, the doctor said he had one year to live. My dad is now 52, and it has been six years. My dad stopped drinking when I got into second grade. It was a miracle. Ever since, my dad never drank again.

The doctor told me 11 years ago that I would be in a wheelchair, unable to talk, see, move or do anything. Yet in second grade, I was entered in a Talented Artist Program; in fifth grade, I was in honors classes; in sixth grade I was in a play and on two softball teams; and in seventh grade, I am in a play, am president of my class, and I am in a Documentary Film Club.

I thank God every day for the blessings he gave me. He is what motivates me and inspires me every day. He inspires me to be the best I can. My parents' love for me also inspires me to be the best of the best. I love God and my family.


Did you Know ?

Q: Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes have buttons on the left?

A: When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right!  And that's where women's buttons have remained since.

Q: Why do ships and aircraft use 'mayday' as their call for help?

A: This comes from the French word m'aidez -meaning 'help me' -- and is pronounced, approximately, 'mayday.'

Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called 'love'?

A: In France , where tennis became popular, round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called 'l'oeuf,' which is French for 'egg.' When tennis was introduced in the US,  Americans mispronounced it 'love.'

Q. Why do X's at the end of a letter signify kisses?

A: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X.  Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document.  The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

Q: Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called 'passing the buck'?

A: In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility of dealing, he would 'pass the buck' to the next player.

Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?

A: It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously.  When a guest trusted his host, he would only touch or clink the host's glass with his own. 
  
Q: Why are people in the public eye said to be 'in the limelight'?

A: Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and theatres by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theatre, a performer 'in the limelight' was the centre of attention. 
  
Q: Why is someone who is feeling great 'on cloud nine'?

A: Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud.  If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.

Q: In golf, where did the term 'Caddie' come from?

A. When Mary Queen of Scots went to France as a young girl, Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scots game 'golf.'  So he had the first course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned  (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice with her.  In French, the word cadet is pronounced  'ca-day' and the Scots changed it into 'caddie. 
  
Q: Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?

A: Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of a dense orange clay called 'pygg'.  When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as 'pygg banks.' When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a container that resembled a pig.  And it caught on.

Q: Did you ever wonder why dimes, quarters and half dollars have notches (milling), while pennies and nickels do not?

A: The US Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins containing gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small quantities of the precious metals. Dimes, quarters and half dollars are notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren't notched because the metals they contain are not valuable enough to shave. 

Just for Laughs

Prayer Before an Exam

Mike was studying for a test one evening. He was very quiet for a long time. So naturally his parents became curious. When they checked on him, they overheard this prayer:

Now I lay me down to rest,
And hope to pass tomorrow's test.
If I should die before I wake,
That's one less test I have to take


Publish Sermons

After a particularly inspiring worship service, a church member greeted the pastor.

"Reverend, that was a wonderful sermon. You should have it published."

The pastor replied, "Actually, I'm planning to have all my sermons published posthumously." "Great!" enthused the church member. "The sooner the better!"


BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST 

by Lew Wallace

Part Six 

Simonides bribes Sejanus to remove the prefect Valerius Gratus from his post, as a service to Ben-Hur. Soon after the accession of the new prefect, Pontius Pilate, Ben-Hur sets out for Jerusalem to find his mother and sister. Pilate orders a review of the prison records which reveals great injustice and that Gratus was deliberately trying to conceal the existence of one walled up cell. Pilate's troops reopen the cell and find that there are two leprous women inside - Judah's mother and sister. They are released and stop for a while at the old vacant Hur house. Here, they find Judah sleeping on the steps, and they offer thanks to God. They don't wake him but weep that, as lepers, they are to be banished, never seeing him again. They leave.

Amrah, the Egyptian maid that once served the Hur house, discovers Ben-Hur, wakes him, and they are reunited. Amrah reveals that she has stayed in the Hur house for all these years. She had also kept in touch with the loyal Simonides and discouraged many potential buyers of the house because they thought she was a ghost. They pledge to find out more about the lost family. Judah discovers an official Roman report about the release of two leprous women. Amrah hears rumors of the mother and sister's fate.
Meanwhile, a plan is approved to use funds from the corban treasury, of the Temple in Jerusalem, to build a new aqueduct. This is seen as sacrilegious by the Jewish people, who petition Pilate to veto the plan. Pilate sends his soldiers in disguise to mingle with the crowd. At the appointed time, they massacre the protesters. Judah kills a Roman guard in a duel, and becomes a hero in the eyes of a group of Galilean protesters.

PART VI - CHAPTER II continued

Where the two are thus grouped the stony floor is polished shining smooth. Who shall say how much of the eight years they have spent in that space there in front of the aperture, nursing their hope of rescue by that timid yet friendly ray of light? When the brightness came creeping in, they knew it was dawn; when it began to fade, they knew the world was hushing for the night, which could not be anywhere so long and utterly dark as with them.

The world! Through that crevice, as if it were broad and high as a king's gate, they went to the world in thought, and passed the weary time going up and down as spirits go, looking and asking, the one for her son, the other for her brother. On the seas they sought him, and on the islands of the seas; to-day he was in this city, to-morrow in that other; and everywhere, and at all times, he was a flitting sojourner; for, as they lived waiting for him, he lived looking for them. How often their thoughts passed each other in the endless search, his coming, theirs going! It was such sweet flattery for them to say to each other, "While he lives, we shall not be forgotten; as long as he remembers us, there is hope!" The strength one can eke from little, who knows till he has been subjected to the trial?

Our recollections of them in former days enjoin us to be respectful; their sorrows clothe them with sanctity. Without going too near, across the dungeon, we see they have undergone a change of appearance not to be accounted for by time or long confinement.
The mother was beautiful as a woman, the daughter beautiful as a child; not even love could say so much now. Their hair is long, unkempt, and strangely white; they make us shrink and shudder with an indefinable repulsion, though the effect may be from an
illusory glozing of the light glimmering dismally through the unhealthy murk; or they may be enduring the tortures of hunger and thirst, not having had to eat or drink since their servant, the convict, was taken away--that is, since yesterday.

Tirzah, reclining against her mother in half embrace, moans piteously.

"Be quiet, Tirzah. They will come. God is good. We have been mindful of him, and forgotten not to pray at every sounding of the trumpets over in the Temple. The light, you see, is still bright; the sun is standing in the south sky yet, and it is hardly more than the
seventh hour. Somebody will come to us. Let us have faith. God is good."

Thus the mother. The words were simple and effective, although, eight years being now to be added to the thirteen she had attained when last we saw her, Tirzah was no longer a child.

"I will try and be strong, mother," she said. "Your suffering must be as great as mine; and I do so want to live for you and my brother! But my tongue burns, my lips scorch. I wonder where he is, and if he will ever, ever find us!"

There is something in the voices that strikes us singularly--an unexpected tone, sharp, dry, metallic, unnatural.

The mother draws the daughter closer to her breast, and says, "I dreamed about him last night, and saw him as plainly, Tirzah, as I see you. We must believe in dreams, you know, because our fathers did. The Lord spoke to them so often in that way. I thought we were
in the Women's Court just before the Gate Beautiful; there were many women with us; and he came and stood in the shade of the Gate, and looked here and there, at this one and that. My heart beat strong. I knew he was looking for us, and stretched my arms to him, and ran, calling him. He heard me and saw me, but he did not know me. In a moment he was gone."

"Would it not be so, mother, if we were to meet him in fact? We are so changed."

"It might be so; but--" The mother's head droops, and her face knits as with a wrench of pain; recovering, however, she goes on--"but we could make ourselves known to him."

Tirzah tossed her arms, and moaned again.

"Water, mother, water, though but a drop."

The mother stares around in blank helplessness. She has named God so often, and so often promised in his name, the repetition is beginning to have a mocking effect upon herself. A shadow passes before her dimming the dim light, and she is brought down to think of death as very near, waiting to come in as her faith goes out. Hardly knowing what she does, speaking aimlessly, because speak she must, she says again,

"Patience, Tirzah; they are coming--they are almost here."

She thought she heard a sound over by the little trap in the partition-wall through which they held all their actual communication with the world. And she was not mistaken. A moment, and the cry of the convict rang through the cell. Tirzah heard it also; and they
both arose, still keeping hold of each other.

"Praised be the Lord forever!" exclaimed the mother, with the fervor of restored faith and hope.

"Ho, there!" they heard next; and then, "Who are you?"

The voice was strange. What matter? Except from Tirzah, they were the first and only words the mother had heard in eight years. The revulsion was mighty--from death to life--and so instantly!

"A woman of Israel, entombed here with her daughter. Help us quickly, or we die."

"Be of cheer. I will return."

The women sobbed aloud. They were found; help was coming. From wish to wish hope flew as the twittering swallows fly. They were found; they would be released. And restoration would follow--restoration to all they had lost--home, society, property, son and brother! The scanty light glozed them with the glory of day, and, forgetful of pain and thirst and hunger, and of the menace of death, they sank upon the floor and cried, keeping fast hold of each other the while.

And this time they had not long to wait. Gesius, the keeper, told his tale methodically, but finished it at last. The tribune was prompt.

"Within there!" he shouted through the trap.

"Here!" said the mother, rising.

Directly she heard another sound in another place, as of blows on the wall--blows quick, ringing, and delivered with iron tools. She did not speak, nor did Tirzah, but they listened, well knowing the meaning of it all--that a way to liberty was being made for them. So men a long time buried in deep mines hear the coming of rescuers, heralded by thrust of bar and beat of pick, and answer gratefully with heart-throbs, their eyes fixed upon the spot whence the sounds proceed; and they cannot look away, lest the work should cease, and they be returned to despair.

The arms outside were strong, the hands skillful, the will good. Each instant the blows sounded more plainly; now and then a piece fell with a crash; and liberty came nearer and nearer. Presently the workmen could be heard speaking. Then--O happiness!--through
a crevice flashed a red ray of torches. Into the darkness it cut incisive as diamond brilliance, beautiful as if from a spear of the morning.

"It is he, mother, it is he! He has found us at last!" cried Tirzah, with the quickened fancy of youth.

But the mother answered meekly, "God is good!"

A block fell inside, and another--then a great mass, and the door was open. A man grimed with mortar and stone-dust stepped in, and stopped, holding a torch over his head. Two or three others followed with torches, and stood aside for the tribune to enter.

Respect for women is not all a conventionality, for it is the best proof of their proper nature. The tribune stopped, because they fled from him--not with fear, be it said, but shame; nor yet, O reader, from shame alone! From the obscurity of their partial hiding he heard these words, the saddest, most dreadful, most utterly despairing of the human tongue:

"Come not near us--unclean, unclean!"

The men flared their torches while they stared at each other.

"Unclean, unclean!" came from the corner again, a slow tremulous wail exceedingly sorrowful. With such a cry we can imagine a spirit vanishing from the gates of Paradise, looking back the while.

So the widow and mother performed her duty, and in the moment realized that the freedom she had prayed for and dreamed of, fruit of scarlet and gold seen afar, was but an apple of Sodom in the hand.

SHE AND TIRZAH WERE--LEPERS!

Possibly the reader does not know all the word means. Let him be told it with reference to the Law of that time, only a little modified in this.

"These four are accounted as dead--the blind, the leper, the poor, and the childless." Thus the Talmud.

That is, to be a leper was to be treated as dead--to be excluded from the city as a corpse; to be spoken to by the best beloved and most loving only at a distance; to dwell with none but lepers; to be utterly unprivileged; to be denied the rites of the Temple and the synagogue; to go about in rent garments and with covered mouth, except when crying, "Unclean, unclean!" to find home in the wilderness or in abandoned tombs; to become a materialized specter of Hinnom and Gehenna; to be at all times less a living offence to
others than a breathing torment to self; afraid to die, yet without hope except in death.

Once--she might not tell the day or the year, for down in the haunted hell even time was lost--once the mother felt a dry scurf in the palm of her right hand, a trifle which she tried to wash away. It clung to the member pertinaciously; yet she thought but little of the sign till Tirzah complained that she, too, was attacked in the same way. The supply of water was scant, and they denied themselves drink that they might use it as a curative. At length the whole hand was attacked; the skin cracked open, the fingernails loosened from the flesh. There was not much pain withal, chiefly a steadily increasing discomfort. Later their
lips began to parch and seam. One day the mother, who was cleanly to godliness, and struggled against the impurities of the dungeon with all ingenuity, thinking the enemy was taking hold on Tirzah's face, led her to the light, and, looking with the inspiration of a
terrible dread, lo! the young girl's eyebrows were white as snow.

Oh, the anguish of that assurance!

The mother sat awhile speechless, motionless, paralyzed of soul, and capable of but one thought--leprosy, leprosy!

When she began to think, mother-like, it was not of herself, but her child, and, mother-like, her natural tenderness turned to courage, and she made ready for the last sacrifice of perfect heroism. She buried her knowledge in her heart; hopeless herself, she redoubled
her devotion to Tirzah, and with wonderful ingenuity--wonderful  chiefly in its very inexhaustibility--continued to keep the daughter ignorant of what they were beset with, and even hopeful that it was nothing. She repeated her little games, and retold her stories, and invented new ones, and listened with ever so much pleasure to the songs she would have from Tirzah, while on her own wasting lips the psalms of the singing king and their race served to bring soothing of forgetfulness, and keep alive in them both the recollection of the God who would seem to have abandoned them--the world not more lightly or utterly.

Slowly, steadily, with horrible certainty, the disease spread, after a while bleaching their heads white, eating holes in their lips and eyelids, and covering their bodies with scales; then it fell to their throats shrilling their voices, and to their joints, hardening the tissues and cartilages--slowly, and, as the mother well knew, past remedy, it was affecting their lungs and arteries and bones, at each advance making the sufferers more and more
loathsome; and so it would continue till death, which might be years before them.

Another day of dread at length came--the day the mother, under impulsion of duty, at last told Tirzah the name of their ailment; and the two, in agony of despair, prayed that the end might come quickly.

Still, as is the force of habit, these so afflicted grew in time not merely to speak composedly of their disease; they beheld the hideous transformation of their persons as of course, and in despite clung to existence. One tie to earth remained to them; unmindful of
their own loneliness, they kept up a certain spirit by talking and dreaming of Ben-Hur. The mother promised reunion with him to the sister, and she to the mother, not doubting, either of them, that he was equally faithful to them, and would be equally happy of
the meeting. And with the spinning and respinning of this slender thread they found pleasure, and excused their not dying. In such manner as we have seen, they were solacing themselves the moment Gesius called them, at the end of twelve hours' fasting and thirst.

The torches flashed redly through the dungeon, and liberty was come. "God is good," the widow cried--not for what had been, O reader, but for what was. In thankfulness for present mercy, nothing so becomes us as losing sight of past ills.

The tribune came directly; then in the corner to which she had fled, suddenly a sense of duty smote the elder of the women, and straightway the awful warning--

"Unclean, unclean!"

Ah, the pang the effort to acquit herself of that duty cost the mother! Not all the selfishness of joy over the prospect could keep her blind to the consequences of release, now that it was at hand. The old happy life could never be again. If she went near the house called home, it would be to stop at the gate and cry, "Unclean, unclean!" She must go about with the yearnings of love alive in her breast strong as ever, and more sensitive even, because return in kind could not be. The boy of whom she had so constantly thought, and with all sweet promises such as mothers find their purest delight in, must, at meeting her, stand afar off. If he held out his hands to her, and called "Mother, mother," for very love of him she must answer, "Unclean, unclean!" And this other child, before whom, in want of other covering, she was spreading her long tangled locks, bleached unnaturally white--ah! that she was she must continue, sole partner of her blasted remainder of life. Yet, O reader, the brave woman accepted the lot, and took up the cry which had been its sign immemorially, and which thenceforward was to be her salutation without change--"Unclean, unclean!"

The tribune heard it with a tremor, but kept his place.

"Who are you?" he asked.

"Two women dying of hunger and thirst. Yet"--the mother did not falter--"come not near us, nor touch the floor or the wall. Unclean, unclean!"

"Give me thy story, woman--thy name, and when thou wert put here, and by whom, and for what."

"There was once in this city of Jerusalem a Prince Ben-Hur, the friend of all generous Romans, and who had Caesar for his friend.

I am his widow, and this one with me is his child. How may I tell you for what we were sunk here, when I do not know, unless it was because we were rich? Valerius Gratus can tell you who our enemy was, and when our imprisonment began. I cannot. See to what we
have been reduced--oh, see, and have pity!"

The air was heavy with the pest and the smoke of the torches, yet the Roman called one of the torch-bearers to his side, and wrote the answer nearly word for word. It was terse, and comprehensive, containing at once a history, an accusation, and a prayer. No common
person could have made it, and he could not but pity and believe.

"Thou shalt have relief, woman," he said, closing the tablets. "I will send thee food and drink."

"And raiment, and purifying water, we pray you, O generous Roman!"

"As thou wilt," he replied.

"God is good," said the widow, sobbing. "May his peace abide with you!"

"And, further," he added, "I cannot see thee again. Make preparation, and to-night I will have thee taken to the gate of the Tower, and set free. Thou knowest the law. Farewell."

He spoke to the men, and went out the door.

Very shortly some slaves came to the cell with a large gurglet of water, a basin and napkins, a platter with bread and meat, and some garments of women's wear; and, setting them down within reach of the prisoners, they ran away.

About the middle of the first watch, the two were conducted to the gate, and turned into the street. So the Roman quit himself of them, and in the city of their fathers they were once more free.

Up to the stars, twinkling merrily as of old, they looked; then they asked themselves,

"What next? and where to?"

to be continued

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