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per, which they were about to take in commemoration of the death of their Lord, were seated several females, closly veiled. A sigh, which escaped the lips of one, as he entered, attracted his attention. The dignity of her mein bespoke the nobility of her birth, and the wide difference between her station and that of her more humble companions. As Cesario advanced, she drew aside her veil, and he started as he recognized the features of a noble lady, whom he had seen at the palace the day before, when he was presented to the Emperor. There was an air of sadness in her expression, which excited in his breast a feeling of sympathy, and as soon as he had received the warm congratulations of the elders he sat down beside her. “Are you conscious, noble lady,” inquired he, “of your danger in coming to this place f’’ “I am well aware of the danger of it, sir,” replied she, “but are you not the soldier whom the Emperor honored with his smile of approbation, and do you not know your own danger, should your presence here be known at the court o" The loud sound of voices from without, interrupted their conversation, and roused Cesario, who sprang towards the entrance. He was withheld however by a faint shriek from the lady, who raising her arms implored him not rashly to endanger his life. He however entreated her to be under no apprehension, as they might be but mere passers by. But here the clangor of arms and the loud demand for admittance too plainly informed them that they were soldiers. Cesario instinctively sought for his sword, but alas! he had left it at the camp. “It is well,” said Julius, who coming up at that moment had observed him; “but we must hurry these females to yonder place of concealment,” (pointing at the same time to the entrance of a passage from which he had removed the stone by which it was before obscured.) . The females immediately ran towards it and were safely concealed; but Cesario, notwithstanding the entreaties of the lady, united with those of Julius, could not be induced to enter, but chose to abide the danger with his companions. They had but just turned towards the door, aster closing the passage, when the soldiers bursting it open, sprang towards the party with loud shouts of exultation. The leader of the company, on seeing Cesario, paused in astonishment, and closely observing him, exclaimed, “can it be possible that ou are in such a place as this, my friend. Would to Jove that it }. fallen to the lot of some other party to have discovered you. I little thought of finding thee here.” He immediately ordered the soldiers to take the party, six in number, into custody, and himself led the way out of the grove. They had not advanced far, however, before they were met by another party under Marcus, which immediately joined them and proceeded with them towards the city.
The leader was closely engaged in conversation with Marcus, whom he insormed concerning the capture of Cesario. Marcus expressed much surprise, having been in his company during the early part of the evening, but readily inferred the cause of his remaining after he himself had departed, when he was told that a young man, whose description answered to Cesario, had been seen by the spies, coming from the place where he had left him. He immediately ordered his companion to take charge of both parties, telling him that he would forthwith proceed to the city, that he might engage some of his most influential friends to plead with the Emperor, and obtain the release of Cesario. But it was all to no purpose. In vain they called to his recollection the services Cesario had rendered him—the imminent danger he had incurred in order to preserve his life; the Emperor remained inflexible, and declared that unless he renounced his religion and worshipped Supreme Jove, his life should not be spared. At this declaration, even the firm nerves of Marcus were for once relaxed, and his lip quivered as he thought of his friend suffering that fate at the very idea of which he had shuddered. He well knew the firm determination of the character of his friend, and that not even the prospect of such a death would make him waver. He, therefore, with a mournful pace, made his way to Cesario's place of confinement. Before his arrival, however, he was overtaken by a soldier, who informed him that his presence was required in the camp, and it was noon before he was able to visit his friend. The old jailor expressed much sympathy for the situation of his prisoner, it having been excited in his behalf by the mild demeanor and winning manner of Cesario. He informed Marcus of his fears with regard to the state of the young man's health, who during his attendance had been troubled with an incessant cough, which caused him much pain. The suspicions of Marcus were then confirmed, that Cesario's exposure of himself without the necessary precautions, during his watch on a stormy night a short time previous, had materially injured his constitution. He desired the jailor to show him to his apartment. Marcus on his entrance was much struck with the change in the appearance of his friend, whom he sound reclining on a miserable couch. He was pale, and the expression of his countenance was sad, but the calmness blended with it there, could by its unison move with pity the most relentless heart. A tear started in the veteran's eye, and a pang shot through his breast, as he thought how much more sad would be that face on his informing him there was no hope of pardon. His countenance was lighted up with a placid smile as he observed his comrade approaching, and he extended his hand to bid him welcome. “Ah, Marcus,” said he, “this gloomy apartment and these cruel chains form a strange contrast with the honors of the world's ambition, yet I covet more the heavenly honors I hope to receive, than the loftiest station Trajan can bestow.”
“Would that this sad task had devolved on other than me,” said Marcus, “for I fear—l fear there is but one alternative.” “Cease, Marcus,” replied the young man, “I know what you would say ; but the horrors even of such a death as awaits me shall not cause me to recant.” At this instant the jailor entered and whispered in the ear of the prisoner. “Ah!” exclaimed he, “let her come in. This friend of mine is a true and faithful one, and she has nothing to fear. The jailor retired, and immediately introduced a lady, the richness of whose dress and queen-like dignity of mien revealed to Marcus her nobility of birth. He was surprised to see her clasp her hands and sob, as she looked upon Cesario; but infinitely more so, was he, when on her removing her veil, he recognized the features of Antonia, a descendant of one of the noblest and most ancient families of Rome. He however spoke not, but Cesario thus addressed her: “Can the noble Antonia deign to visit an humble captive in his cell ? She certainly cannot be accustomed to such scenes.” “Soldier!” replied the lady, “though the paltry distinctions of this world may dissever us, yet in the bond of Christ we are one. Often have I visited other Christians in misfortune, and this is nothing new to me; but I can give thee no joyful tidings from the Emperor, for he heeded not my entreaties nor listened to my request.” “It is as I expected,” said Cesario, “for he has already rejected one petition. But I count it a higher honor and a greater reward hereafter to die a Christian than to live an Emperor on his throne.” The lady, after handing him some manuscript copies of the scriptures, departed, and Marcus himself, after he had learnt from him the manner in which he became acquainted with Antonia, retired, and left him to seek repose. During the time that intervened between his confinement and the exhibition at the amphitheatre, he was often visited by the lady Antonia and his other Christian friends. His father, after that he had heard of his having been been taken at a Christian place of worship, remained indifferent to the fate of his son. Although he visited him for the first few days of his imprisonment, with the hope that he would renounce his Christian principles, his visits were a source of no consolation to Cesario. The morning of the fatal day at last arrived. Marcus had attended upon him during the greater part of the night, but was reuired to be absent on duty at sunrise. The young man had sailed so fast, that Marcus was doubtful whether he would be able to survive many hours. He was exceedingly affected by his parting interview, in which Cesario had, with many instructions, presented him the writings of the Apostles. The prisoner was now left alone. He sat by the only window of his apartment, and the morning breeze fanned his pale-cheek, which exhibited the ravages of consumption, and raised upon it a bright hectic flush.
The city was all noise and bustle. The heavy tramp of thousands as they rushed by his prison—the hum of the multitude, which like a troubled sea, rolled on towards the amphitheatre, was unheeded by him. Once indeed he cast his eyes upon them, and thought how little sympathy he should excite in their unpitying breasts. It was with him
He thought of his former peaceful life at Antioch—of his after career—of his success and of the renown he might have gained, but then he thought that the honor with his God would be far greater should he die a martyr in the Christian cause. The crowds had now assembled at the amphitheatre. From the most commanding situation of the patrician near the arena, up to the high elevation of the plebeian's stand, all was life. On this side were the seats set apart for the ladies of rank, gaily decorated with garlands. On that the superb stations of the nobles, in the center of whom, seated in an ivory chair covered with a rich canopy, was the Emperor Trajan. The contests of the gladiators were now over, and he ordered his prefect to give the signal for introducing into the arena, the Christians Cesario and Julius. A silence as of death reigned throughout the assembly, and a murmur half escaped their lips, as they observed the gray hairs of the one, and the countenance of the other pale and wan, both leaning on the arms of the officers for support. The Emperor, through his prefect, informed them that pardon should now be granted, if they would publicly renounce their faith. Cesario shook his head but was unable to speak, and Julius, in the name of both, declared, that rather than give up their allegiance to Christ, they would suffer death. A cry of “vile blasphemers,” from a part of the assembly, caused the Emperor to give the signal for letting loose the lion. Cesario looked up towards the Emperor with a mild expressiveneSS“Oh, in that meek forgiving eye There was a brightness, not of mirth— A light, whose clear intensity Was borrowed not of earth. .* Along that cheek a deepening red Told where the feverish hectic fed,”
and as he turned his gaze upon the assembly, he caught a glance of the lady Antonia, who as she met his eye, fell with a loud shriek into the arms of her attendants. That cry gave the death stab to Cesario's heart, for he fell backwards into the arms of Julius. The lion with a bound prostrated them both to the earth, and seeing the old man attempting to rise again, tore him in pieces. But Cesario stirred not, and the assembly expressing their approval, Trajan ordered the lictors to drive away the lion, and carry out his body for his friends. * * + + # +
That night, the soldier Marcus reflected how little in accordance
with his expectation had been his enjoyment of the amphitheatre. Yale College. C. E. J.
BEAuty the setting sun,
Love! a spirit's breath,
Till chill'd in death.
Joy! the whistling breeze,
And kiss the trees.
Praise! the close of day,
Hate' the raging storm,
The tempest's form.
Hope the magic say,
Faith ! religion's flower;--