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Unintimidated, the she wolf came rushing forward, and with bloody fangs, was for devouring the innocent even before his face, whilst he drew his sabre to defend the fugitive. In the midst of the scuffle betwixt him and the ravenous monster, he awoke with an impression upon his mind, that some prisoner under his care was personated by the lamb, persecuted by enemies, who eagerly thirsted for his blood, and hoped to find that safety and friendship in the cells of a prison, which were denied him where he had a right to expect it. Chorion was none of the savage herd, who have in later times kept watch at the doors of prison-houses. He had a humane heart; capable of feeling the distresses of his fellow-creatures. The necessary strictness and severity of his office, was always performed with a reluctant hand, and with inward sensations becoming a descendant of Adam.
The dream was suggested at Gabriel's request, by one of the benevolent ethereal spirits, with a view to render Chorion as gentle as might be to Joseph, during the absence of his guardian angel, who upon his account, was ascended to the empyreum. It had its desired effect, for the cautious jailor, for fear that he should add to the sufferings of the innocent, was extremely gentle and tender to all his prisoners.
The follow night having spread the thickest darkness over all the land, neither moon nor star embellished the concave sky. As Chorion stood upon his tower, he saw, at a distance darting through the air, a form divinely beautiful and fair, surrounded with glory, almost too strong for his visuol orbs to sustain, and followed by a train of stupendous splendour, which evidently bespoke the visitant to be of celestial lineage. As he drew near, and went past the keeper to the prison, he had has good a view of him as his confusion would suffer him to take. For Joseph's sake, the friendly angel thought proper to favour Chorion with a glimpse, of etherial brilliance, and but a glimpse lest he should, by too rich a display of celestial excellence, overturn the reasoning powers of his mind. Some heavenly deity, cried Chorion in a rapture, some god
who defends virtue and innocence, propitious to the cries of distress, condescends to visit the loathsome cells of a miserable prison. See, he is gone directly to the stranger's apartments. The youth is innocent of whatever he is accused of; the holy gods will not condescend to visit the guilty. This is the lamb that fled to me for protection. Olovely youth,asfaraspoor Chorion's influencecan goye shall meet with nothing but friendship within these walls. I will ease you of your chains, and provide suitable apartments for your reception.
Meanwhile Gabriel stood confest in Joseph's cell, and even groaned to see the son of Israel incumbered with horrid chains. Secretly he gave him a celestial draught just drawn from the fountain of life, which enabled him with pleasure to bear the heavenly radiance with which he was arrayed. Fear not, Joseph," said the splendid messenger, “ I am Gabriel, of whom thou hast often heard. Gabriel who stands in the presence of the Lord. This is the first time indeed, of my appearing to thee, but thou hast long been my careful charge. It was I that sent Abel thy kinsman to comfort thee when thou wast in the pit. I stood by with unspeakable pleasure, and beheld the noble resistance you made to the temptations of your mistress; and rejoiced to see you come off a conqueror from danger so fatal. Your present afflic. tions, my Joseph, are not the fruit of guilt on your part. They are such as you shall be delivered from. But what keen remorse would have torn your heart, had you been left, Joseph, to sin so loudly against your God! From some inkling which the infernal spirits had got of the designs of your God towards you, they have leagued together to destroy you; and two of the most active of the damned race, as agents for the rebellious community, undertook to accomplish your ruin. Belphegar and Adramelech, they stirred up your brethren against you, and had not I interposed, your blood would have been sacrificed to their malice. Little did they know that the very means which they took to frustrate the designs of grace, were appointed directly to promote them,
and that whilst they were gratifying their own infernal malice, they were doing what should be over-ruled to your advantage. They inflamed your mistress with a burning desire to enjoy your embraces, and turned her love into hatred and rage'upon being disappointed. And it was them who inspired Potiphar with the rash design of destroying you. Thus far they have been divinely permitted to persecute you, Joseph. But here ends the bounds of their permission. Trust in the God of thy fathers. Let patience have its perfect work; for when thou art tried, thou shalt come forth as purified gold. Grieve not for your father, for you shall yet see him in a strange land; and these hands of yours shall close his aged eyes, after ye have received the paternal benediction from his prophetic lips. Potiphar will soon have his attention attracted by other objects, so that he shall not touch your life; you will yet see him and embrace him as your friend, for Sabrina shall one day be made to confess her guilt. I leave you, Joseph, but remember ye the God of your fathers, and serve him with a perfect heart. I have prejudiced the keeper much in your favour. The peace of the everlasting covenant be with you.” So saying, he shrouded himself in darkness, and the young patriarch saw himnomore. But O what pleasure did the seraph's melodious voice cause to thrill through the heart of the prisoner? Even in a prison he was wrapt up into the suburbs of heaven. As soon as the morning began to dawn, Chorion, the keeper, from whose eyes sleep had been banished all the night, visited every apartment in the prison, and when he came to Joseph's cell, he stood motionless with awful reverence of his prisoner; and as soon as he could speak, with a faultering voice he said, “I am sorry, Sir, that you have been so ill used. I wish I had known you desert before, then these servile chains should not have disgraced your limbs.” So saying he took off his irons, led him up to his own apartments, and treated him with the utmost respect. - That very day a courrier from the frontiers of the kingdom arriyed at the war-office, with adrice that
the Ethiopians, then a warlike people, had invaded those parts of the empire most contiguous to them; wherefore Potiphar was dispatched at the head of the army to put a stop to their ravages; an expedient that took off his attention from Joseph, and kept him long at a distance from Memphis; during which time, our injured hero continued a prisoner, neglected and forgot. But the same divine and ever watchful Providence which prospered him in the house of Potiphar, followed him still in the house of his prison, and succeeded all the works of his hands.
Amongst the many prisoners that were confined for different crimes were Florillo the king's principal cup bearer, and Labonah the chief baker.' Having received charge of all the prisoners from Chorion the keeper, Joseph frequently visited them, and soon contracted an intimacy with them. Making his morning visit to Florillo and Labonah, one day after he had been near a year in prison, he found a pensive sadness louring upon their heavy countenances. " What is the matter with you my friends," said he? “ It appears by your countenances that your hearts are sorrowful. May I beg to know the cause? If any thing within my power can be of service to you, my assistance may be depended upon.” “ Alas, Sir, ” replied the butler, “ assistance can come from the immortal Gods alone. Our case seems to be beyond the arm of humanity to remedy. Each of us have had a dream ominous of some important event, but what it may portend is to us a secret involved in the most cloudy mystery.
Joseph observed that dreams are not always to be regarded, and even such as are significant and ominous must have their interpretation from heaven. “ Will you tell me your dreams,” said he," for some I have interpreted? And I promise you at least I will not deceive you. But it would add greatly to the kindness, if you would give me with your dreams some account of your past lives, and, I in my turn will freely communicate to you every material partofmy own history.
“ I am,” said the butler, “the only son of Arba an Elamite, who dying when I was very young, left me under the care and direction of Athgar, my uncle; by the mother's side. The tender and delicate usage which I experienced from my parents, was changed into rough and rigorous treatment by my uncle; and although so very young I was made to feel the difference between paternal affection, and the guardianship of the nearest kinsman. Possest of my fa. ther's substance, which he was to husband to my advantage, he relished the sweets of it so much, that he entertained thoughts of keeping it as his own property, and took care to let me know that I was solely dependant upon him for the means of my subsistance, Conscious that in a land of oppression, where
my uncle had principal rule, there was little prospect of
power giving place to equity : I was obliged for my own safety patiently to bear my injuries; imagining, upon no ill ground, that complaint of the grievances I suffered would only add to the weight of my oppressions. It was not long before Cushi an enterprising prince of a neighbouring people, upon some slight pretence quarrelled with the king of Elam and invaded his territories. I was sent to the war by my uncle's command, and I had reason to fear with a view to rid me out of the
you may think that I had but little heart to fight in de. fence of a land where. I had suffered such base oppression. Our army was far from being either spirited or disciplined like the Hummims under Cushi. The Elamites of distinction wallowed in luxury, whilst those of interior rank groaned under oppression. Therefore, when they came to face the enemy, they could make but a faint resistance, and soon sought for safety in rapid flight. Many were cut to pieces as they fled, and many were taken prisoners by the Hummims, amongst whom I was one. It was my lot to be brought to Memphis, and sold to one of the stewards of Pharoah's household; and I must say in honour of my lord, that I have met with more hospitable friendship, although a slave in the