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THE STRENGTH OF JUDAH

AND

THE VENGEANCE OF ASSHUR.

A TALE OF THE TIMES OF ISAIAH.

CHAPTER I.

THE TRIUMPH.

THE sun had for some time passed the meridian, and was already visibly sloping towards the western hills, when one bright day early in the autumn the city of Jerusalem was the scene of unwonted bustle and gaiety. Happy crowds in holiday attire, gathered from the many towns of Judah, streamed along the streets, all apparently bound for the great highway which led from the royal palace to the Temple, and, crossing on enormous arches the ravine, in after days called the Tyropæon, connected Mount Zion with Mount Moriah. On either side of this highway the flat roofs of the houses were occupied by expectant groups, and here and there throngs of the better class of citi. zens stood in the gateway of some loftier mansion, whose walls, richly adorned with sculptured fruits and

1

well might the multitudes of Judah that day

flowing robes, adorned with needlework, swept the

t every movement, and long veils thrown back revealed sweet faces that needed not the costly nose-jewel and the crimson paint to enhance their loveliness. don their holiday raiment, and crowd the streets of

flowers that were painted in the warmest colours, seemed built only to grace a festival.

The dresses of the multitudes were exceedingly varied and picturesque. The rough peasant had added to his simple woollen tunic a gaudy girdle in honour of the day. The rich citizen walked gravely along, wrapped in a scarlet mantle, whose ample folds did not quite conceal the purity of the fine linen vestment beneath. Many a Joseph, the darling of some later Jacob, displayed boastfully the flowing and costly garment that told of a father's love. The iron shoes of the warrior ceased clanking as he paused to hear the grateful praise of his own prowess, while his brazen helmet and breastplate glittered in the sunshine. The prophets and their pupils mostly wore a garment of hair, though otherwise their attire was less rigidly plain than that of Elijah ; and the priest’s robes of figured linen, reaching to the ground, were relieved by a wide band, that, decorated with red and blue flowers, crossed the breast and hung down to the feet.

But then, as now, it was the gentler sex that chiefly shone in bravery of apparel

. Gay turbans contrasted with locks of dark and glossy hair ; long and ground, as the fair wearer passed by with unnecessary

silver bells and anklets clinked and tinkled

stateliness ; at

And

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