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struggled with an emotion which he was unwilling to betray; and Elisama stood near him, giving freer vent to his feelings. The bride sobbed beneath her veil, and Helon was melted into tears.
Kindred and friends now approached the married pair, and bestowed on them their congratulations. The feast ended with the usual ceremonies.
On the following morning the nuptial festivities began afresh, and lasted for seven days,* each distinguished by some new expression of joy. Numerous presents were brought to the newly married pair by the guests; and others given to them in return. The company exercised their ingenuity in riddles and maschals; or a grave and learned rabbi would discourse on the sanctity and duties of the marriage state, and the honour and happiness of those who might thus be appointed to give birth to the Messiah.
This protracted festival was at times weari
some to Sulamith and Helon, who longed to begin their tranquil, solitary, and domestic life. In the mean time, Helon was delighted to discover every day some new perfection in Sulamith, some new resemblance to the maidens and mothers of Israel in times past. Her domestic virtues assimilated her to Sara; her poetical imagination to Miriam, the sister of Moses; her disinterestedness and self-devotion to the daughter of Jephthah; and her artless piety to Hannah, the mother of Samuel.
THE AVENGER OF BLOOD..
Ir was determined that the young married pair should proceed with Myron, immediately after the marriage, to Alexandria, to fetch Helon's aged mother from Egypt, in time to attend the feast of Tabernacles. Elisama was to remain in the mean time at Jericho, least, as he observed, he should bring on her the imputation of being a false prophetess. Alas ! he little knew what a melancholy accomplishment her prediction was about to receive, and in his own person. The departure was delayed neither Sulamith nor Helon was impatient for it, and Myron was very willing to remain. Helon found scarcely any thing left him to wish. All his expectations of outward prosperity were fulfilled, and he flattered himself that he was as near the summit of spiritual perfection as of earthly bliss. The deep veneration which Sulamith expressed for his purpose of becoming a Chasidean, regarding him as already being all that he purposed to become, inspired him by degrees with a high opinion of his own righteousness. His present happiness seemed to him a sign of the favour of Jehovah. Accustomed to regard all calamity as a divine judgment for sin, all prosperity as the reward of virtue, he considered his present condition as a mark of the distinguished approbation of God. His conscience seemed to join the league and promote his self-deception; his tenderness for Sulamith, his readiness to make little sacrifices of his wishes to hers, his gratitude and affection towards her parents and his own benefactor Elisama, were magnified by him into a complete obedience to the divine commands, into something more than mere righteousness. As those are apt - to do who have experienced hitherto uninterrupted success, he began to think that every thing which
he undertook must be successful that his mountain stood strong and should never be moved. He never, alas, thought of inquiring how much youth and good fortune, the sense of pleasure and pride of heart, had to do in the construction of this showy edifice of selfrighteousness.
Myron, during the first days of his residence at Jericho, found himself in circumstances so different from what he had expected, that he held it prudent to keep back as much as possible, and become better acquainted with the scene and its personages, before he trusted himself to act upon it. Hence during the festivities of the nuptials, he had been a quiet and unobtrusive spectator, and had recommended himself to the Jewish youths by the easy flexibility of his manners. He had particularly attached himself to Selumiel, after the tumult of rejoicing had subsided, and those who were left together had leisure to seek out the persons who were most congenial to themselves. If he ever offended Elisama, by some expression savouring of heathenism, which