When the people realized the victory they behaved like mad. On the houses far as the Xystus, fast as the word could fly, they waved their shawls and handkerchiefs and shouted; and if he had consented, the Galileans would have carried Ben-Hur off upon their shoulders.
To a petty officer who then advanced from the gate he said, “Thy comrade died like a soldier. I leave him undespoiled. Only his sword and shield are mine.”
With that he walked away. Off a little he spoke to the Galileans- “Brethren, you have behaved well. Let us now separate, lest we be pursued. Meet me to-night at the khan in Bethany. I have something to propose to you of great interest to Israel.”
“Who are you?” they asked him.
“A son of Judah,” he answered, simply.
A throng eager to see him surged around the party.
“Will you come to Bethany?” he asked. “Yes, we will come.” “Then bring with you this sword and shield, that I may know you.”
Pushing brusquely through the increasing crowd, he speedily disappeared.
At the instance of Pilate, the people went up from the city and carried off their dead and wounded, and there was much mourning for them; but the grief was greatly lightened by the victory of the unknown champion, who was everywhere sought, and by every one extolled. The fainting spirit of the nation was revived by the brave deed; insomuch that in the streets and up in the Temple even, amidst the solemnities of the feast, old tales of the Maccabees were told again, and thousands shook their heads, whispering wisely- “A little longer, only a little longer, brethren, and Israel will come to her own. Let there be faith in the Lord, and patience.”
In such manner Ben-Hur obtained hold on Galilee, and paved the way to greater services in the cause of the King Who Was Coming.
And with what result we shall see.
Ben-Hur Table of Contents of the On-Line Edition. Cf. Ben-Hur in Print, at Amazon