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are when they are practising their leaps on that fashion. We must keep a good watch to-night, if ever.'
"As they journeyed on, the country became more and more desolate, the rocks steeper and closer together, the valley itself more broken and precipitous.
"After all,' said my father, it might have been less dangerous to take the straight course, than to have made this circuit for the sake of avoiding peril.'
men that are
"I know not that, sir,' returned Diphilus; I had rather trust myself, any day, to wild beasts, than to worse than wild beasts, as those soldiers were. is that lion again.'
"So it was; and so they saw him several times in the course of the next two hours. A little before sunset, they found themselves at the end of the valley through which they had been passing, and on the summit of a slightly rising ground. Before them lay the boundless desert, hazy and tawny in the slant rays of the sun; in the far horizon there was one tuft of palmtrees, which gave good tidings of a spring. Diphilus measured the distance with his eye.
"I know not,' he said, take up our quarters here for to-night. We have water enough with us; and to be benighted in yonder desert, and with that lion so near, is not a pleasant prospect.'
but that we should do better to
"I think you are right,' said my father; so be it.' And they alighted from their beasts, and looked about for a rock which might afford them some means of security.
"While they were so engaged, to their great astonishment they saw a soldier coming towards them. He seemed weary almost to death: he staggered as he walked; it appeared with the greatest difficulty that he could drag himself up to where the camels were tethered.
“As I live, sir,' said Diphilus,' that is the centurion who had the command of the party that was in search of us. Why, how in the name of all that is wonderful, could he have come here ?'
"As he spoke, the unfortunate man limped up to where they
stood, clearly not recognizing who it was that he was approaching.
"For the sake of pity,' he said, in a thick and inarticulate voice, 'let me have water. I have tasted none since the fourth hour yesterday.'
'Diphilus, without making any reply, filled his horn cup from their little stock, and gave it to him. When the cen
turion had drained it, and asked for more,
"Now,' said my father, 'you see how it is that Christians return injuries. Take as much more as you will. You were hunting for my life ten days agone, and now I give you your's.' 'What,' cried Pedo, 'is it possible that you
"Even so,' said my father, as the centurion drank again. But how came you hither? And where are my wife and children ?'
"That I know not,' answered Pedo: 'safe, so far as we are concerned; for we could not take them. As for me, I was returning with my manipli into Egypt, and we had been marching about two hours yesterday morning, when I heard my name called from the other side of a sand-hill, as plainly as I heard you speaking but now. I must needs-fool that I was!-go to see what the voice was; and it led me on and on, till, when I tried to return, I found that I had missed my party. I looked for them, I shouted for them, but all in vain ; I wandered on and on, till at last
"As he spoke, a loud roar, a rush through the air, the sound of a heavy stroke, and, sooner than I can tell it, my father saw the lion which had seemed to be accompanying them all the afternoon, carrying off the centurion by his back. Both Diphilus and he always said that the shrieks of the wretched man were the most fearful things they had ever heard; and long and long after, in the still hours of the night, they would sometimes come back on both like a frightful dream. The lion carried off Pedo for about a hundred yards, and then laid him down, and devoured him before their eyes.
"It was some minutes before either could speak to the other; and they afterwards could hardly tell, how the first hour
of that evening passed. When the beast had devoured his victim, and the horrid noise which he made in crunching the centurion's larger bones had ceased, he went off quietly into the desert; and they saw no more of him. But, as you may well imagine, they took every possible precaution for their own safety; they tethered their camels in a different position, at the foot of a rock less easy of access; and having climbed to its summit themselves, and looked out a couple of torches to burn during the night, at last they recovered from the shock sufficiently to converse.
"Oh,' said my father, if GOD should ever spare us to reach my family at Thmuis, and still more, if ever, of His great goodness, He should bring us back to our own home
"Here the manuscript, which I have been translating, ends: the latter part being torn off. I gather from the tenour of the story that Basil's prayer was answered in both particulars; that he did meet his family again at Thmuis, and that, when the Cæsar Maximin Däia took poison and gave up the ghost in despair, he did return again to Ombi. But, as I say, this is only what I think likely from the tone in which the history is written; not what I know with any certainty. Nor can I say whether a stone, built into the wall of a ruined church, a little way below Assouan, as they now call Syene, has reference to our Basil or not. Very probably it may have; for it appears to be of the same age. Thus it runs :
BASIL, A SWEET SOUL. HE
"IN PEACE AND IN CHRIST.
These extracts will fully bear out our high opinion of this book, which we pronounce to be by far the best of
the many admirable works which Mr. Neale has provided for the amusement and edification of the young.
Of a different character is Rainy Mornings with Aunt Mabel; a work consisting of narratives of the faithful. selected from the History of the Church. The writer well observes, "All must have remarked, and few without regret, the slight hold which our Church has upon the affections of many of its members, so slight as to render almost ineffectual to large masses of its nominal adherents the benefits which it was intended to convey. May not this be attributed, in many instances, to the want of an early acquaintance with the Church's history,—its struggles and triumphs ? And may not the writer who brings these subjects home to the minds of the young and impressible be lending a helping hand in the great work of uniting once again the whole family in "one faith and one Baptism," even as there is one GoD and FATHER of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all." Most assuredly this is the case; and the more we come into daily contact with the people, the more we are convinced that their errors are in many, very many cases, the result of ignorance; and that the best way of removing these, is to bring forward, more than has yet been done, the History and Faith of the Church from the beginning. The authoress of "Aunt Mabel," has laid all teachers of children under great obligations. A lady in our parish, who has a number of such under instruction, makes it a point after each lesson to read them a portion of this book; and, as the little ones meet in our own house, we have seen the good result. They quite look forward to their Sunday lesson. The book also might be used by teachers, who could make themselves acquainted with the stories here narrated, and then tell' them in their own way to their several classes. To schools and families we
know no book we can more strongly recommend than "Rainy Mornings with Aunt Mabel,” which, we doubt not, will be a favourite of no ordinary character. Here is a chapter which may serve as a fair specimen of the admirable manner in which the authoress has discharged her task:
"Aunt Mabel,' began Ernest, at our next meeting, 'I want very much to hear about the missions; and then I can tell nurse what you say. She will have it that missionary doings are 'new fangled; they were never thought of, she says, when she was young. And when Minna told her that the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts had had three jubilees, nurse said, 'then she supposed she must allow that such things had been thought of a hundred and fifty years ago, but that was no such great time.' I know she is wrong; but I cannot tell her what is right about it, till we have heard what you say.'
"In one respect nurse is right: the name is recent, but the thing itself is as old as the Christian Church. Indeed, in the Acts of the Apostles, we have an account of the extensive labours of those first great missionaries, Paul and Barnabas, with a history of the many foreign parts in which they propagated the Gospel in less than twenty years. Their missions would hardly have been crowned with such signal success, had they not been aided by a society, as it were,—had not the whole company of the faithful helped on the good work, by labour, prayers, money, example, and above all, unity; being one in faith and one in action. It is not, however, to these first efforts at propagating the Gospel that I now intend to draw your attention; but to one which I think will be particularly interesting to you children. You will see how our merciful GOD was pleased to make use of the weakest of His creatures to work out His mighty purposes; deigning, out of the mouths of very babes and sucklings to ordain strength.'
"It was His will that a Pagan tribe on the shores of the Red Sea should be brought into the fold; and you shall hear by what means it was.'
"Oh, auntie,' said Ernest, I can hardly believe it. You