V. (22) But when their father heard, not the truth indeed, that his son had been sold, but a falsehood that he was dead, and that he had been slain by wild beasts, he was smitten in his ears by the news that was reported to him, and in his eyes by what was shown to him (for they brought to him his son’s coat rent and torn and defiled with quantities of blood); and being wholly bewildered by the exceeding greatness of the calamity, he lay for a long time without speaking, not being able even to lift up his head, the calamity overwhelming and completely prostrating him; (23) then suddenly pouring forth as it were a stream of tears with bitter lamentations, he bedewed his cheeks, and his chin, and his breast, and all the garments on his chest, saying at the same time such words as these, “It is not thy death that grieves me, O my son, but such a tomb as has fallen to your lot; for if you had been buried in your own land I should have been comforted; I would have cherished you, I would have tended you in sickness if you had died before me, I would have given you my last embrace, I would have closed your eyes, I would have wept over your dead body lying before me, I would have buried you sumptuously, I would have omitted none of the customary observances. (24) “Again, even if you had died in a foreign land, I should have said, nature has claimed what was due to, and what belonged to her; and therefore, O my mind, be not cast down; for living men have indeed their separate countries, but the whole earth is the grave of the dead; and all men are destined to a speedy death; for even the longest lived man is but short lived if compared with eternity; (25) but if it was necessary that he should die violently and by treachery, it would have been a lighter evil to me for him to have been slain by men, who would have laid out his corpse, and have pitied him so far as to scatter dust over him, and at least to have concealed his body; and even if they had been the most merciless of all people, what more could they have done than have thrown him out unburied, and so got rid of him? And then, perhaps, some one of the passers by on the road, standing by, and beholding him, and conceiving pity for our common nature, would have thought him worthy of some care, and of burial; but now, as the saying is, O my son, thou has become a feast, and a banquet for savage and carnivorous wild beasts, who will eat and devour thy bowels; (26) I am compelled to endure distresses which I never had imagined, I am without any cause practised in enduring many miseries; I am a wanderer, a stranger, a slave, living under compulsion, having even my very life plotted against by those whom it least became to do so. And I have seen many things, and I have heard many things, and I have suffered many things, all of which have been incurable evils, which however I have learnt to bear with moderation, so as not to yield to them. “But nothing has ever happened more intolerable than this misfortune which has now befallen me; which has consumed and destroyed all the vigour of my soul; (27) for what can be a greater or more pitiable calamity? The garment of my child has been brought to me, who am his father; but of him himself there is no portion brought, not a limb, not a small fragment, but he has been wholly and entirely destroyed and devoured, not being able even to receive burial; and it seems to me that even his garment would never have been sent to me at all if it had not been by the way of a reminder of my grief, and as a refreshment of my memory as to the sufferings which he endured, so as to afflict me with a never to be forgotten and never ending sorrow.” He indeed bewailed his son in these terms; but the merchants sold his son in Egypt to one of the king’s eunuchs who was his chief cook.