Judah made no reply.
“Who are the wise men of our day?” Messala continued. “Not they who exhaust their years quarrelling about dead things; about Baals, Joves, and Jehovahs; about philosophies and religions. Give me one great name, O Judah; I care not where you go to find it- to Rome, Egypt, the East, or here in Jerusalem- Pluto take me if it belong not to a man who wrought his fame out of the material furnished him by the present; holding nothing sacred that did not contribute to the end, scorning nothing that did! How was it with Herod? How with the Maccabees? How with the first and second Caesars? Imitate them. Begin now. At hand see- Rome, as ready to help you as she was the Idumaean Antipater.”
The Jewish lad trembled with rage; and, as the garden gate was dose by, he quickened his steps, eager to escape.
“O Rome, Rome!” he muttered.
“Be wise,” continued Messala. “Give up the follies of Moses and the traditions; see the situation as it is. Dare look the Parcae in the face, and they will tell you, Rome is the world. Ask them of Judea, and they will answer, She is what Rome wills.”
They were now at the gate. Judah stopped, and took the hand gently from his shoulder, and confronted Messala, tears trembling in his eyes.
“I understand you, because you are a Roman; you cannot understand me- I am an Israelite. You have given me suffering to-day by convincing me that we can never be the friends we have been- never! Here we part. The peace of the God of my fathers abide with you!”
Messala offered him his hand; the Jew walked on through the gateway. When he was gone, the Roman was silent awhile; then he, too, passed through, saying to himself, with a toss of the head- “Be it so. Eros is dead, Mars reigns!”
A JUDEAN HOME.
FROM the entrance to the Holy City, equivalent to what is now called St. Stephen’s Gate, a street extended westwardly, on a line parallel with the northern front of the Tower of Antonia, though a square from that famous castle. Keeping the course as far as the Tyropoeon Valley, which it followed a little way south, it turned and again ran west until a short distance beyond what tradition tells us was the Judgment Gate, from whence it broke abruptly south. The traveller or the student familiar with the sacred locality will recognize the thoroughfare described as part of the Via Dolorosa- with Christians of more interest, though of a melancholy kind, than any street in the world. As the purpose in view does not at present require dealing with the whole street, it will be sufficient to point out a house standing in the angle last mentioned as marking the change of direction south, and which, as an important centre of interest, needs somewhat particular description.