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2. Septimius happened to have left the city when his friend first saw the blooming fair one, and did not return until the day fixed upon for his marriage. The moment that introduced him to the view of such perfection, was fatal to his peace; and the struggle between love and friendship became too violent for his resolution. A sudden and dangerous fever attacked him ; and the unsuspicious Alcander introduced the object of his af. fection, to assist him in the unwearied care of his friend. setting
3. The moment the physicians beheld Hypatia enter, they were no longer at a loss to account for their patient's illness; and calling Alcander aside, they informed him of the nature of it, and also expressed their fears that Septimius' recovery was impossible! Tortured between the dread of losing the friend of his heart, and agonized at the idea of relinquishing the object of his affection, his anguish for some time deprived him of utterance; but recovering that fortitude which had ever marked: his conduct, he flew to the bedside of his apparently dying friend, and promised to renounce his claim to Hypatia, if she consented to a union with Septimius.
4. Whether Hypatia had not been strongly attached to the amiable Alcander, or whether compassion urged her to accept the hand of his friend, is uncertain ; but they were united; quitted Athens, and went directly to Septimius' house at Rome. Hypatia's friends imagining Alcander had relinquished his betrothed bride for the sake of a rich reward, commenced an action against him for a breach of promise ; and the judges, biassed by the representations of bis enemies, ordered that he should pay a fine amounting to more than his whole property.
5. The wretched Alcander was now reduced to the most melancholy situation ; his friend absent, the object of his love lost, and his own character stigmatized with baseness !- Being absolutely unable to pay the demand, his person became the property of his oppressors, and he was carried into the marketplace and sold as a common slave. A Thracian merchant became his purchaser, and for several years he endured a life of bondage. At length liberty presented itself to his view, and the opportunity of his flight was not to be rejected. Alcander ardently embraced it, and arrived at Rome in the dusk of the evening.
6. Friendless, hopeless, and forlorn, the generous Alcander had no place of shelter, and necessity compelled him to seek a lodging in a gloomy cavern. Two robbers, who had been long suspected to frequent that spot, arrived there soon after mid. night, and disputing about their booty, fortunately did not per
ceire him. One of them, at length, was so exasperated against his companion, that, drawing a dagger from his side, he plunged it into his heart, and left him weltering in his blood at the mouth of the cave.
7. Alcander's miseries had been so accumulated, and his distresses so undeserved, that his mind, at last, was worn down by his afflictions, and he became indifferent to every thing around him. In this situation he was discovered, and dragged to a court of justice, as the murderer of the man whose body had been found in the cave. Weary of existence, he did not deny the charge ; and the sentence was about to be pronounced against him, when the murderer, smitten with a pang of conscience, entered the court, and owned the fact !
8. Astonishment seized every mind, but particularly that of the judge who was going to condemn him, who, examining the countenance of a man capable of such singular conduct, discovered the features of his beloved friend Alcander! Rising from the seat of justice, and flying to the bar of guilt, he caught his suffering Alcander in his arms, and after shedding over him tears of joy and compassion, presented him to the senators, as a man whose disinterested conduct had been the means of preserying his own existence.
Joseph and his Brethren. 1. Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age ; and he gave him a coat of many colours. But when his brethren saw their father's partiality to him, they hated him, and would not speak peaceably unto him. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren.
2. Behold, he said, we were binding sheaves in the field; and lo! my sheaf arose and stood upright; and your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said unto him, shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him the more for his dreams, and for his words. 3. It happened that his brethren went to feed their father's flock at Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren ; but when they saw him afar off, they conspired against him to slay him ; , and they said one to another, we will tell our father that some evil beast has devoured him.
4. But Reuben wished to deliver him out of their hands; and he said, let us not kill him, but cast him into this pit that is
the wilderness. And they followed his counsel, and cast him to a pit, which then contained no water.
5. A company of Ishmaelites from Gilead passed by at this ime with their camels, bearing spicery, balm and myrrh, which they were carrying into Egypt. And Judah said unto his brethren, let us sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hands be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh. And Joseph was sold for twenty pieces of silver.
6. And his brethren killed a kid, and dipped his coat in the blood thereof. And they brought it unto their father, and said, this have we found. And Jacob knew it ; and believing that Joseph was devoured by an evil beast, he rent his clothes, co. vered himself with sackcloth, and refused all comfort ; saying, I will go down into the grave to my son, mourning.
7. Thus wept his father for him. But Joseph was carried into Egypt, and sold to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh's guard. And the Lord was with him, and prospered him; and he found favour in the sight of his master. But by the wickedness of Potiphar's wife, he was cast into the prison where the king's prisoners were bound.
8. Here also the Lord continued to show him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And all the prisoners were committed to his care, amongst whom were two of Pharaoh s officers, the chief of the butlers, and the chief of the bakers.
9. And Joseph interpreted the dreams of the king's servants : to and his interpretation being true, the chief butler recommended him to Pharaoh, who had dreamed a dream, which Joseph thus showed unto him : Behold there shall come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt. And there ia shall come after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine shall con, sume the land.
10. And the king said unto Joseph, forasmuch as God hath shown you all this, thou shalt be over my house; and accord. ing to thy word shall all my people be ruled. And Joseph ga. thered up all the food of the seven years, and laid it up in storehouses. Then the seven years of dearth began to come, as Joseph had foretold.
Jl. But in all the land of Egypt there was bread; and people from all countries came unto Joseph to buy corn, because the famine was spre in all the lands. Now, amongst those who came, were the ten sons of Jacob, from the land of Canaan..
12. And Joseph saw his brethren, and knew them, but made
himself strange to them, and spake roughly to them, saying, Ye are spies. And they said, thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan ; and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not.
13. But Joseph said unto them, Ye shall not go hence, ex. cept your youngest brother come hither. Let one of your brethren be bound in prison, and go ye to carry corn for the fa. mine of your houses, and bring your youngest brother unto me.
14. And their consciences reproaced them; and they said one to another, we are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear. Therefore is this distress come upon us.
15. And they knew not that Joseph understood them, for he spake unto them by an interpreter. And he turned himself about from them, and wept ; and returned to them again, and communed with them; and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes. And they returned unto Jacob their father, in the land of Canaan, and told him all that had befallen them.
16. And Jacob, their father, said unto them, me have ye bereaved of my children. Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away also." But my son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he is left alone. If mischief befal him in the way in which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave..
17. But the famine continued sore in the land; and when they had eaten up the corn, which they had brought out of Egypt, Jacob said unto them, Go again and buy us food, and if it must be so, now take also your brother Benjamin, and arise and go unto the man. And they brought presents unto Joseph, and bowed themselves before him to the earth.
18. And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well ? is he alive? And he lifted up his eyes, and saw Benjamin his brother; and he was moved with brotherly love and compassion ; and he sought where to weep, and he entered his chamber and wept there. And he washed his face, and went out and refrained himself. .
19. Then he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put my cup, the silver cup, into the sack of Benjamin the youngest. And the steward did according to the word that Joseph had spoken. As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their horses.
20. But Joseph commanded his steward to follow them, and to search their sacks, and to bring them back. And when Ju
dah and his brethren were returned into the city, Joseph said unto them, what deed is this ye have done! The man in whose hands the cup is found, shall be my servant; and as for you, get you in peace unto your father.
21. But they said, our father will surely die, if he seeth that the lad is not with us ; and we shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant, our father, with sorrow to the grave. Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, cause every man to go out from me ; and there stood no man with him, whilst Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
22. And he wept aloud, and said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live ? And his brethren could not answer him, for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, come near to me, I pray you; and they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
23. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me bither; for God did send me before you to save your lives by a great deliverance. Haste ye, and go up to my father; and say unto him, thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord over all Egypt. Come down unto me, tarry not.
24. And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen ; and thou shalt be near unto me, thou and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast. And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine ; lest thou and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.
25. And behold your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth which speaketh unto you. And you shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and all which you have seen ; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.
26. And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept;: and Benjamin wept upon his neck. Moreover, he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them; and after that, his brethren talked with him. And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh's house and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.
27. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, invite hither thy father, and his household ; and I will give them the good of the land of Egypt; and they shall eat the fat of the land.
28. And the spirit of Jacob was revived when he heard these tidings ; and he said, my son is yet alive ; and I will go and seehim before I die. And he took his journey, with all that he