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´╗┐Title: Corianton - A Nephite Story
Author: Roberts, B. H.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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CORIANTON

A Nephite Story


BY B. H. ROBERTS



COPYRIGHTED BY
B. H. ROBERTS
1902



PREFACE.


Corianton was first published as a serial in the Contributor, 1889. At
that time the story was well received by a large circle of readers and
the Author was urged by many of his friends to continue in that line
of composition, as much good might come of it. A call came to engage
in other work, however, and the delightful field just entered had to
be abandoned. During the years that have intervened since the first
publication of the story, many have inquired if Corianton would not
appear in booklet form, to which the Author always replied in the
affirmative, but without being able to say when the time of
publication would come. Since the simple Nephite story, however,
promises to become famous through Mr. O. U. Bean's dramatization of
it, many--I may say very many--have expressed a desire of forming the
acquaintance of Corianton as he first appeared; and hence the Author
presents Corianton, the Nephite.



CORIANTON.


CHAPTER ONE.

THE PRISONER.


The summer's sun was just struggling through the mists that overhung
the eastern horizon, and faintly gilding the towers and housetops of
Zarahemla, as a party of seven horsemen, evidently weary with the
night's travel, were seen slowly moving along the foot of the hill
Manti, in the direction of the above named city.

The manner in which the party traveled was evidently by
pre-arrangement, and for a purpose. Two rode in advance and two in the
rear, while the other three rode abreast, the one in the middle being
closely guarded by those who rode beside him. A second look showed
that his arms were securely bound behind him, and the guard on each
side held the powerful horse he rode by means of a strap of raw-hide
fastened to the bridle. The prisoner was the most, in fact the only
person of striking appearance in the little cavalcade, the others
being rather heavy, dull men of serious countenance; the prisoner,
however, had an air of boldness and cool defiance which contrasted
sharply with the humble aspect of his guards. He sat his horse with an
easy grace which gave less evidence of fatigue from the long ride
through the sultry night than that exhibited by his guards; the man,
indeed, seemed especially adapted for endurance. The head, too, was
massive and the countenance striking; the brilliancy of the bold black
eyes challenged contest or flashed back defiance, while the peculiar
expression about the mouth, half scornful smile, half sneer, seemed to
breathe contempt for all things on which he looked.

The party now came in full view of the city. "At last," with mocked
solemnity, exclaimed he that was bound, "the soldiers of Christ and
their prisoner behold the holy city, where dwells the great
prophet--even God's High Priest, who smites with the words of his
mouth, and with the breath of his lips slays the wicked!" and the
speaker laughed scornfully, but his guards made no reply.

"Methinks ye soldiers of the king that is to be, give scant homage to
a shrine so holy as this--why, think men, this is the abode of God's
vicegerent, the headquarters of heaven on earth so to speak! And yet
ye move on in full view of this holy shrine unbowed! Down slaves, and
worship the place of my sanctuary--so run the words of holy prophets,
is it not so?"

Still no answer.

"Yet uncovered and unbowed? Ah, I forgot, you are from the land of
Gideon, where dwells another of these holy prophets--and, it may be,
that to worship at this shrine would be treason to your own High
Priest! O, thou bright-eyed goddess of liberty, what distraction, what
fears must disturb the breasts of the poor, craven wretches who
worship aught but thee!"

Further remarks of the scoffer were cut short by the guards in advance
urging their horses into a brisk gallop, an example followed by the
rest of the party. The good broad road, down which they dashed, sloped
gently from the western base of the hill Manti to the gate in the east
wall of the city. The road had been cut through a primeval forest, and
the strips of woodland on either side of it, still untouched by the
woodman's ax, made of it a grand avenue. Here and there to the right
and left were lanes leading off to the fields beyond, toward which
agricultural laborers were slowly moving to begin the toil of the day.
These turned to look with unconcealed wonder upon the strange party as
it dashed past them, and some few turned back to the city, bent on
finding out who the prisoner was and what was afoot.

As the party drew rein near the gate, two guards armed with heavy
swords and long spears, challenged their entrance, and demanded their
business.

"Great God!" exclaimed the prisoner, "and this is the people who boast
of their freedom! This is the free city of Zarahemla! and yet here
stands the minions of the High Priest and the Chief Judge to question
whence ye come and why!"

"We come from the city of Gideon," said one of the guards of the
prisoner, in answer to the questions, "we have in charge Korihor, the
anti-Christ, who seeks to destroy religion and subvert all government;
we"--

"Thou liest, almost as well as a high priest," broke in the prisoner;
"I seek but to root out of men's minds the false traditions of the
fathers concerning God and Christ, and to make them free! I only"--

"You will do well," quietly replied he whom he had interrupted, "to
make your defense before the High Priest and Chief Judge of the city,
and not before your own and the city guards." Then turning to the
guards of the gate he continued: "We have brought Korihor from the
city of Gideon where he was tried"--

"For his virtues," broke in the prisoner.--

--"for his offenses," continued the guard, not heeding the
interruption, "but the Chief Judge at Gideon hath sent him to the
Chief Judge of the whole land in this city, to hear his case, and
he"--

"And God's High Priest," spoke up the prisoner, "I charge thee, guard,
leave not out the holy prophet, I long to meet in sharp contest the
vicegerent on earth of your Christ that is to be--'according to the
holy prophets.'"

"Well, then, we seek the High Priest and Chief Judge before whom this
man is to be tried," said the guard, evidently vexed with the mocking
tone of the scoffer.

"Pass on," said the guard at the gate: "Com," said he to his
companion, "conduct these men to the Judgment Hall, give their
prisoner to the keeper of the prison, then direct them to the house of
the chief judge; I shall wait until you return; and I pray God that
this bold man may be silenced, for before now he hath disturbed the
quiet of our city not a little."

As the party passed through the massive gateway, Korihor turned to
look back at the guard, and raising his voice, said to the crowd which
had gathered there rather than to the one whom he addressed, "Guard,
tell your good people as they pass in and out of the city, that
Korihor, their friend, who would see them free, is in bonds for
liberty's sake, and is soon to be tried before an imperious High
Priest and a tyrant judge, for honest disbelief in the foolish
traditions of their fathers--tell them this, and ask them if the time
has came when all men must be slaves to superstition!" There was an
instant buzz of excitement in the crowd, for Korihor was not unknown
in Zarahemla. A few months before he had been through that city and
had spoken boldly against the prophets and the traditions respecting
the coming and Atonement of Christ. Since then he had been traveling
through the land of Jershon among the people of Ammon, there he met
with little success; for that people bound him and banished him from
their lands. From thence he went into the land of Gideon where he
sought, as in other places, to stir up sedition. He was brought before
the High Priest and Chief Judge of that city, and they being in doubt
as to what they ought to do with him, bound him and sent him to the
High Priest over the whole church, and to the Chief Judge of the whole
land, both of whom resided in the city of Zarahemla.



CHAPTER TWO.

ZARAHEMLA.


The city of Zarahemla which our party of horsemen and their prisoner
had entered, was the capital and metropolis of the Nephite Republic.
Its exact location cannot be definitely fixed. According to the Book
of Mormon it was situated on the west bank of tho river Sidon, a noble
stream, supposed to be identical with the river Magdalena. It rises in
the great mountain chain of western South America, and flows directly
north through an immense valley to the sea. The city Zarahemla was
originally founded by the descendants of a colony of Jews that escaped
from Jerusalem, after the destruction of that city by King
Nebuchadnezzar, early in the sixth century B. C. With the colony of
Jews that escaped was Mulek, the son of King Zedekiah, and the colony
took its name from him. They landed in the northern continent of the
western world and afterwards drifted southward into the valley of
Sidon, and there founded a city, but what name they gave it is not
known. Having brought no records with them from Jerusalem, and being
in possession of none of those incentives to the preservation of
civilization, it is not surprising that they deteriorated to
semi-civilized and irreligious conditions. Serious wars broke out
among them at times, but they preserved themselves a people, and by
the year 200 B. C., had become very numerous. It was about this time
that their chief city was discovered by a migrating host of Nephites
from the South, led by Mosiah I, whom God had commanded to gather
together the more righteous part of the people of Nephi and take them
into the land northward. A double purpose was served in this movement:
first, the righteous Nephites were relieved from the oppressions
practiced upon them by their more vicious brethren; second, they
carried enlightenment, and especially the knowledge of God, to a
numerous people. At the time of the arrival of the Nephites in the
valley of the Sidon, one Zarahemla was the recognized leader of the
descendants of the people of Mulek. It was a Nephite custom to name
their cities after the men who founded them, and the surrounding
country after the name of the chief city therein. In this instance the
Nephites doubtless named the city after the chief man they found
there, "Zarahemla," and the surrounding country "the land of
Zarahemla." But as suggested, this may not have been the name of the
city previous to the advent of the Nephites. The two peoples readily
united under the form of government known at that time among the
Nephites, viz., a limited and at times elective monarchy. Mosiah, the
Nephite leader, became king of the united people. He caused that the
people of Zarahemla should be taught in the knowledge of their
forefathers; and in reverence for the God of Israel. Both peoples were
greatly benefited by this union. The people of Zarahemla so
strengthened the Nephites in numbers as to make them strong enough to
resist any attempted invasion of Lamanites; while to the people of
Zarahemla the Nephites brought their civilization, their ideas of
government, and enlightenment through means of education.

At the time of the opening of our story, 75 B. C., something of a
republican form of government or reign of Judges had supplanted the
before mentioned monarchy. King Mosiah I. was succeeded by his son
Benjamin, and he by his son, under the title of Mosiah II. It was the
reign of the last mentioned king that the remarkable revolution took
place which resulted in the establishment of the Nephite Republic in
place of the kingly form of government which under various
modifications had existed from the first Nephi, until about 91 B. C.,
or some sixteen years previous to the events recorded in the preceding
chapter. The revolution seems to have occurred at that time in
consequence of the sons of the second Mosiah refusing to accept the
kingly dignity. They had consecrated their lives to the service of the
Church, and had departed on missionary expeditions among the
Lamanites. The good King Mosiah II was fearful that if the people
elected a king, as was their light under certain contingencies, his
sons might subsequently seek to take possession of the throne they had
abdicated, and thus bring on civil war. In his anxiety to avoid the
possibility of so great a calamity he proposed a change in the
constitution by which the kingly form of government should be
abolished, and a species of republic established in its place. The
principal feature of the new constitution was the provision for the
election of a Chief Judge and subordinate Judges, graded most likely
according to the importance of the city or district of country over
which their administration extended. All the judges were endowed with
executive as well as judicial power; from the subordinate judges
appeals could be taken to the superior judges; while an easy means of
impeachment was provided as a corrective of corrupt administration.
The revolution proposed was carried out peacefully under the wise
supervision of Mosiah II, who stipulated, when proposing the
constitutional change, that he would continue as king until his death,
at which event the new government was to go into force. The first
election was held within the lifetime of Mosiah II. Alma, the
presiding High Priest of the Church, was elected Chief Judge, so that
he united in his person both priestly and civil power. Alma was a
remarkable character. He was the son of the Nephite High Priest of the
same name. In his youthful days he had been exceedingly wayward, and
had united with the sons of King Mosiah II, in their efforts to
overthrow what they called the superstition of their fathers. Being
young men of marked abilities and pleasing address, the mischief they
did was appalling. The very pillars of the Church seem to be shaken by
their audacious boldness of declamation against it. And it was only
through the visitation of an angel who appeared before them in all the
glorious brightness, of that heaven from which he had descended, and
the administration of sharp reproofs, that they were turned from their
sinful ways, and stopped from persecuting the Church of Christ. As is
frequently the case with characters of this description, from being
violent scoffers of religion and bitter enemies of the Church, they
became ardent supporters of both, and, as already stated, the sons of
Mosiah II, abdicated their right to the Nephite throne and consecrated
their lives to the service of the Church, of which Alma became the
High Priest upon the death of his father, Alma; and, as we have seen,
was made Chief Judge also of the republic. He did not hold the double
office long, however; for finding that the office of Chief Judge so
occupied his time that it forced neglect upon his duties as High
Priest, he resigned his civil position after eight years of service,
that he might devote himself exclusively to his ministerial calling.
Nephihah was elected to the office of Chief Judge, and held that
position at the opening of our story. By this action of Alma's the
office of High Priest was separated from that of Chief Judge, still
there appears to have been some participation in the affairs of
government by the High Priest.  Not that there was a union of church
and state as that term is usually understood, for the Church was
recognized as being separated from the state; but while they were
distinct societies, they were close neighbors, and nearly interested
in one another; they lived separate, but not estranged; and each
helped the other at need. And hence it happened that the High Priest
at times sat with the Chief Judge in cases involving the interests of
the Church.



CHAPTER THREE.

THE BROTHERS.


Meantime our party passed down one of the principal streets of the
ancient city, into the market square. Here many were engaged in
unpacking fruits and vegetables from huge baskets strapped across the
backs of asses, and arranging them under awnings to preserve them from
the scorching rays of the sun. In the richest profusion were piles of
fruits and vegetables, luscious grapes and fragrant bananas, lemons,
limes, figs, dates, bread-fruit and a variety of vegetables such as
the tropics alone can produce. Purchasers were already thronging to
the market, and as our party from the city of Gideon passed on,
Korihor shouted to them, as he had done to the crowd at the gate,
which resulted in quickly gathering a throng of men who eagerly
questioned the guards as to the man's offense--"alleged offense, you
mean," he cried, "for I am guilty of no crime, except we have fallen
on those evil days to which the idle traditions of our fathers tend,
when to disbelieve the words of ancient dotards styling themselves
prophets, and giving expression to one's honest thoughts has become a
crime; or when resisting the oppression of judges, who ever have one
ear turned to a priest to learn what superstition teaches is the word
of God, be a wrong; and when to be the friend of liberty, a foe to
tyranny whether in priest or judge--and an enemy to an enslaving
superstition, is considered worthy of bonds and the prison."

This and much more that he said as he passed along, surrounded by his
guards, produced no little excitement in the crowd, for in those
ancient days and distant climes, as well as in our own day those who
persuaded men they were not well governed had many willing followers;
and then as now demagogues, blasphemers and the enemies of law and
order knew what a tower of strength the cry of freedom gave to a
cause, however unworthy or destructive of the very thing in the
interest of which, ostensibly, they worked.

Having passed through the marketsquare and through a narrow, irregular
street, with massive, two-story stone houses on either side, which
marked the most ancient part of the city, the guards suddenly turned
to the right into a large square, on one side of which stood an
immense structure of hewn stone with a wide, high porch, supported by
massive pillars, and approached by a broad flight of stone steps. This
was the Hall of Justice, as indicated in an inscription carved in the
stone above the porch. To the right of the building extended a high
stone wall in which was hung a heavy wooden door, plentifully studded
with iron spikes. To this door the guard who had led the party from
the east gate of the city directed his footsteps, and taking a small
wooden mallet suspended by a chain fastened to the door post, he
struck the door three smart blows, and a moment later a small wicket
in the upper part of the door was opened and a harsh voice demanded
what was wanted.

"A guard of horsemen from the city of Gideon bring with them to the
judgment seat of the High Priest and Chief Judge, one Korihor, charged
with seeking to breed sedition and subvert the government; they
deliver him to the care of the keeper of the prison--open the door and
admit him at once--the people are becoming excited and may raise a
tumult." The latter clause of the sentence was delivered hurriedly and
in an undertone. There was a profuse rattling of chains, the falling
of an iron bar, and the door swung open with a grating sound. Meantime
the guards of Korihor had assisted him to dismount and with their
prisoner before them, and leading their horses, passed into the
prison-yard. A number of men pressed close after them, but were denied
admittance by the gate keeper, who drove them back and closed and
barred the door.

Seeing Korihor safely bestowed, and their horses cared for, the guards
from Gideon were conducted across the square fronting the Hall of
Justice, to the house of the Chief Judge, and presented to him the
communication or commitment from the High Priest and Chief Judge of
Gideon.

The crowd which had been attracted by the unusual spectacle of the
small cavalcade passing through their streets, and the animated
speeches of the prisoner, still lingered in the public square,
gathered in groups, discussing the events of the morning. "I tell
you," said a hard visaged man to a group of listeners standing near
the center of the square,--"I tell you there is too much truth in the
complaints of Korihor. The High Priests and the Chief Judges are
becoming too arbitrary in their rulings; there's too much said about
law and order and not enough regard paid to personal liberty."

"Tut, man," said a voice from the outskirts of the group, "whenever
has a disturber of the peace, a blasphemer of God, an enemy to
religion come amongst us but what he has taken refuge behind the cry
of 'liberty?' So did Nehor in the first year of the reign of the
judges; so did Amlici five years later; and Korihor is such as they
were, and with like cunning adopts their cry of 'liberty,' when in
reality his principles lead to the destruction of freedom and all its
safeguards. Believe me friends," he continued, addressing the crowd
among whom there began to be great agitation--"Believe me, not every
one that cries out against God, religion and the law is a friend to
freedom, they are always its enemies. The law stands watch and guard
over your rights and liberties; by that Korihor will be judged and
justice rendered. In the meantime let not your minds be carried away
by the persuasions of men whose business is agitation, who prosper by
violence, and thrive on tumults." So saying, the young man, for such
he was, putting his arm about a still younger man who stood at his
side, walked away. The crowd also began to break up, the man who had
been harangueing it when interrupted, muttering that it could only be
expected that the sons of the High Priest would defend the oppressions
of their father; they themselves were interested.

As the two young men were crossing the square, the younger said to his
brother: "Notwithstanding what you said just now to the crowd,
Shiblon, and the truth of it in general, I think this treatment of
Korihor is too harsh. Our law protects a man in his belief and in the
expression of it; and though Korihor hath a proud bearing and holds
what you believe to be dangerous views, still I think the officers at
Gideon exceeded their jurisdiction in sending him bound to this city."

"Holds what I believe to be dangerous views! And do not you believe
them to be dangerous? Corianton, I fear the spirit of unbelief, the
moral and spiritual poison that the orations of this same man infused
into your soul when he first appeared in our city, hath not yet been
worked out." The hot blood rushed to the temples of Corianton at this
accusation, and he replied with some warmth, not unmixed with
bitterness: "It has not been the fault of brother Helaman or yourself,
then, for I have heard little else since his departure from Zarahemla
but your lame arguments in support of the shadowy traditions of our
fathers about the coming of Messiah and his Atonement."

"I am sorry to find you in this mood my brother," replied Shiblon,
"and it grieves me to hear you speak so lightly of things that are
sacred; but if too much restraint has been thrown upon the liberty of
Korihor by the authorities of Gideon, you know full well that justice
will be done him in the court of our father and the Chief Judge--you
know that no oppression is countenanced by them."

At this moment the guard from the gate who had conducted those in
charge of Korihor to the presence of the Chief Judge passed them, and
in answer to a question from Corianton replied that the case of
Korihor was appointed to be heard on the morrow.

"It is the time of day," said Shiblon to his brother, "appointed for
the meeting of the priesthood, to consider the mission about to be
appointed to the Zoramites. Our father sent me to find you and bring
you to the council, for I think he wishes you to be a party to the
undertaking."

"You may go, brother, but I will not," replied Corianton. "I have no
relish for these dull councils, and as for converting the Zoramites,
they may be as nearly right in their theology as yourself or our
father, for aught I know; the whole subject is so wrapt in mystery
that we can at least afford to be liberal, and not bind men and thrust
them into prison for daring to assert their unbelief in these
mysterious things."

"But it is the express wish of father that you should attend this
council," said Shiblon, "out of respect for him, will you not come?"

"Say, to our good father the Priest, that I am gone to visit one who
is cast into prison for the cause of liberty." Then seeing the pained
expression in his brother's face, his manner changed, and placing his
hand affectionately on his shoulder he said: "Shiblon, go thou to the
council, and give no further thought to me; let me follow the bent of
my own mind. Your steady patience; your deep conviction as to the
truth of the traditions of our fathers: your wisdom and goodness make
you a fitting minister for God, if such a being there is; you are
destined to become a pillar in the church; not so with me; my wild
love of liberty can ill brook the restraints of the gospel or the
priesthood, and the skepticism ingrained in my very nature
disqualifies me for the work I could readily believe you were designed
to support. But I'll none of it, until I see some manifestation of the
power of God spoken of so frequently by our father and of which the
scriptures speak on nearly every page; so farewell." Turning on his
heel, he bent his footsteps in the direction of the prison gate, while
Shiblon with a troubled heart stood gazing after him.

"David had his Absalom, Lehi, his Laman, and this my brother, my
father's darling son, seems destined to wring my father's heart, as
they did theirs. Oh! why is it, that those formed in the very
prodigality of nature--endowed with a heaven-born intelligence--
genius--must be cursed with a doubting, rebellious spirit that weighs
down all their better parts, and wrecks the hopes, built on what their
talents promise? Oh, that some good angel would my brother meet, as
was my father met, shake off his doubting fears, and give him back to
us converted to the truth and pledged to its maintenance, as was my
father! Then how would shine that master power within him which
overawes men's minds or bends them to his purpose! Brother, flout me,
resist me how you will; I'll follow you through all your fortunes
good or ill, and win you yet to God and truth!"

With these words on his lips, and this pious purpose in his heart,
Shiblon, the son of Alma the Priest, directed his steps to the council
chamber.



CHAPTER FOUR.

IN THE HALL OF JUSTICE.


The next morning the sun shone more brightly than on the day before.
Through the night a terrific storm had raged. Black clouds burdened
with moisture had been split by vivid flashes of lightning, and poured
down all their floods. But with the approach of light the storm
ceased, the clouds parted and drifted into great cumulous heaps
lightened to snowy whiteness by the glorious morning sun. The air was
fresh and pure, the electric storm having dispelled the mists and fogs
so common to the tropics.

Long before the sun had reached midway between his rising and high
noon, the open square before the Hall of Justice was filled with
groups of men, some boisterously disputing the rightfulness of
Korihor's treatment, and others with equal warmth defending the action
of the authorities of Gideon.

The Hall of Justice was crowded to overflowing with men anxious to see
and hear the man, who had by a few leaps and bounds sprung into
notoriety. The hall within was circular in form, with tiers of stone
seats rising one above the other, their regularity broken only by
three promenades extending three-fourths of the way around the
building. The entrance was through two wide double doors in the south,
along a walk leading into a circular space, around which ranged the
first row of seats, and from which ran flights of steps leading to the
seats and promenades above. On the west side was a spacious platform
with two seats well to the back of it, raised on a dais, evidently
intended for the high officials of the state.

A murmur that commenced near the entrance and then extended to all
parts of the house, gave notice that some one of importance--perhaps
some of the chief actors in what was to take place that day--were
entering. Two men walking side by side and preceded by two guards and
followed by two, passed up the short flight of steps to the platform,
and occupied the seats before mentioned. One of them was still in the
prime of manhood, with a full beard and glossy black hair. The eyes
were deep set and black, the forehead low and broad, the lower part of
the face square and heavy. The stature of the man was in keeping with
the face; below the common height, broad shouldered and ungraceful,
the whole aspect was stern, almost harsh--such was Nephihah, the Chief
Judge of the whole land. His companion, the High Priest, was a
different type of man; tall in person, slightly stooped with age, a
high receding forehead, and hair of silvery whiteness. In that face
one could see compassion, patience, tenderness--all the qualities in
fact that go to make up the highly spiritual temperament. But, as one
may say, back of the indications of those qualities stood others of
sterner character. The closely compressed lips, together with the
whole form and movement was expressive of determination; while the
light that flashed from the eyes when animated, bespoke a quick spirit
within. But now as he takes his seat by the side of the Chief Judge,
his whole air is calmness, almost sadness; and indeed, care had drawn
many and deep lines in the noble face of Alma.

Neither of these officers, though the foremost men in the great
Nephite Republic, wore any badge of office; but was dressed very
similar to hundreds of common people in the hall. The dress consisted
of a sort of tunic drawn over a close fitting under garment, gathered
in at the waist by a girdle and extending to the knees, but leaving
the arms and legs bare. Over the tunic was generally thrown a light
robe, very often of rich material and varying in color to suit the
taste of the wearer; on the feet sandals were worn, fastened to the
feet and legs by broad thongs of tanned deer hide--such was the male
dress of that period among the Nephites. The chief judge's tunic was
of light brown, with a dull red robe thrown over the shoulders. The
tunic of the high priest was white and his robe a light blue gathered
in graceful folds about his person.

At a signal from the Chief Judge one of the guards left the hall and
soon returned, conducting to the platform Korihor and the guards who
brought him from Gideon, a few others following--friends of the
accused. Among the latter there was one whose graceful form towered
above the rest, whose step was more firm, and whose every limb and
feature and movement seemed conscious of power and pride. As he
followed Korihor up the steps to the platform and stood near him, the
High Priest started from his seat--there was a convulsive twitching of
the fine features, and then the tears stole silently down his furrowed
cheeks. He had recognized his son Corianton, as the follower of this
unbeliever. He was aware that his son had called upon him the day
before, knew that he had expressed some sympathy for him, but he was
not prepared to see him thus openly identify himself with the cause of
the scoffer against God.

As Korihor took his place before the Chief Judge the latter unrolled a
parchment which contained the charges against him, as set forth by the
authorities of Gideon.

"Korihor," said he, the voice was strong and harsh, "you are charged,
by the authorities of the land of Gideon with having sought to stir up
sedition, disrupt the government and destroy religion. It doth not
appear, however, that you have set on foot any definite movement, or
organization looking to the accomplishment of these unworthy purposes.
It cannot be said you are guilty of any overt act in pursuance of your
pernicious doctrines, but have merely agitated for them by your
speeches. Our law cannot punish a man for his belief nor for the
expression of it, therefore it is our decision that you be set at
liberty. However, it becomes my duty to caution you that the path you
tread is filled with danger, both to yourself and those you may induce
to follow you. Let me remind you that our present system of government
has been most fruitful of happiness to the people, and holds out to
them the fairest promise of future good; and he who becomes its enemy,
becomes the enemy of the people, and in the end must come to sorrow.
Let not, therefore, your love of notoriety, or any other motive,
betray you into seeking it, by paths so pregnant with danger to
yourself should you fail, and so disastrous to the public weal should
you succeed. You are acquitted before the law of the land; but the
High Priest may have some advice for you."

"Acquitted by the law of the land--now I suppose I am to be tried by
the law of--heaven!" said Korihor. "Well, we've heard from earth, now
we are ready to hear from heaven--what a pity the other place,"
pointing significantly downward, "is not also represented, we would
then have a trinity of you to hear from. Proceed heaven!" said he,
turning to the High Priest.

"Korihor," said the High Priest, "your speech ill becomes your
intelligence, your"--

"What, has a priest turned flatterer, can a priest speak to an
opponent in fair, well-seeming words? You know well to whom you
speak-one who will not kneel in the dust before you-one who fears
neither you nor your gods, but whose soul abhors you both, and is free
from your superstition and the slavish submission it begets, else we
should have had thunder from 'God's mouthpiece,' and not the
mellifluous tones breathing softly--'Korihor, your speech ill becomes
your intelligence;' but go on, speak as is your wont, I despise your
flattery as I defy your power."

"Think not I meant to flatter," continued the High Priest, unmoved by
the rude interruption, "for I meant to say, had you listened
patiently, that your utterances are but the vain repetition of what
others of like temperament have said before you. You scarcely do more
that repeat, parrot-like, the catch phrases of Nehor and Amlici, your
immediate predecessors in this ribaldry of blasphemy."

This was a conclusion of the sentence Korihor had scarcely expected,
and the scoffer felt that his impetuosity had placed him at a
disadvantage.

"Why do you go about to destroy the people's belief in God and their
hope in Christ?" continued the High Priest.

"To undeceive them, to free them from a groveling superstition, which
bows down their souls that they dare not assert their rights and
liberties, nor raise their heads in manly pride, nor gratify their
appetites, lest they offend the God of your tradition--a being who
never has been seen or known, nor ever will be. I seek to strike off
the servile chains, with which your priests have loaded them, in order
to bring to pass your own designs--that you may glut yourselves with
the labors of their hands, and hold them at your mercy. I would see
men free from superstition, acknowledging no power more potent than
their own, I would teach them that intelligent management is
providence, that genius is God; that this life--so far as we
know--terminates existence, and therefore they should encompass all
the pleasure possible, by enjoying what the appetites and passions
crave. I tell thee, proud priest, now playing at humility," he
exclaimed with sudden vehemence, "your religion is slavery; your
priesthood, a fraud; your Christ, a delusion: your God, a lie!"

The great audience grew breathless at the fierce denunciation, and
then the calm but strong voice of the High Priest rang through the
hall--"Could a deception, a lie produce such supreme joy in the hearts
of men as the faith of this people in God does?"

"Yea it could, and the proof of it is in that it does; but the joy
this people think they have is not joy; man never tastes joy until he
breaks away from all restraint, and feels himself accountable to no
one for his actions, then and then only is he capable of joy."

"'Tis a lying spirit prompts thee so to answer," replied Alma, "for
never while sense and judgment keep their seat in the mind of man can
he cast off restraint, or become dead to the sense of moral
responsibility; therefore what you would call joy would be the wild
delirium of the madman or the drunken--long may this people be
preserved from such joy as this--its spirit is drawn from hell, its
effect is destruction. Equally false is your statement that the
priests glut themselves on the labors of the people. From the
commencement of the reign of the judges, seventeen years since, until
now, I have labored with my own hands for my support; and
notwithstanding all my travels for the Church, and labors in it, I
have never received even one senine for my labors, nor have my
brethren, save it were in the judgment seat; and then we have received
only according to the law for our time. What doth it profit us to
labor in the Church, then, but to declare the truth, that we might
have happiness in the prosperity of our people?"

The scoffer was silent at the calmness of the high priest; something
in the manner of Alma moved him strangely, but he stared boldly in the
face of the speaker. Corianton, however, manifested more uneasiness,
for under the calm exterior he saw the spirit in his father awakening.

"Korihor," said the High Priest, and there was an intensity in the
voice now which thrilled the whole assembly, "you mock at religion,
you deny the existence of God, but I testify to you there is a God,
and now will you deny his existence or blaspheme his name?"

"Yea, that I will! What, thinkest thou because a High Priest says in
solemn tones, 'I tell thee, Korihor, there is a God,' that I will
crouch at his feet and confess what ye would call my sins, and like an
echo say 'amen' to your testimony? By the gods, if such there be, you
must think my spirit easily over-awed! I tell thee no, there is no
God--ye have no evidence that there is--give me proof of his
existence--let me see a manifestation of his power--show me a sign!"

"All things testify of his existence. The traditions of our fathers
affirm it"--

"The traditions of our fathers!" contemptuously broke in Korihor, "I
demand a living sign, and you talk to me of tradition!"

--"The written testimony of many of the prophets from the beginning of
the world to the time our fathers left Jerusalem, as recorded upon the
brass plates they brought with them into this land, prove his
existence; the testimony of all the holy prophets that God hath raised
up to minister to this people declare it; and back of these witnesses
stands all nature--the earth with its wealth of fruits and flowers and
vegetation and animal life; the rains which make it fruitful, the
glorious sun, which kisses its fruits and grains to ripeness; day and
night, seed-time and harvest--all proclaim the Creator and his
goodness and wisdom and love! The existence and harmonious movement
through space of many other worlds than ours in such exact order and
regularity, proclaim his power and glory; and more than all, the still
small voice of the Spirit of God, testifying to the secret soul of man
of the being of God and man's accountability to him--all these things
united give ample proof of God's existence and power and majesty. Yet
there stands a man," and he pointed his finger at Korihor, and
addressed himself to the audience, "who denies there is any proof;
turns from all this and impiously demands a sign!"

The scoffer stood awed before the awful form of the priest; and well
indeed he might, for he had risen in delivering the above; his face
shone with intelligence, his eyes reflected the light of heaven, his
voice trembled with the power of God; and the form drawn up to its
fall height was magnificently grand.

"I--I do not say--there is--no God," faltered Korihor in subdued,
husky tones, and trembling from fear--"I do not believe there is,--I
will not believe"--recovering some of his boldness--"except ye show me
a sign!"

"Then this shall be thy sign--I tell thee, in the name of God, thou
shalt be dumb and never speak again!"

The voice was trumpet toned now, and seemed to shake the building and
the whole audience had started to its feet. There was a half stifled
exclamation from the scoffer, and he wildly clutched the air; his eyes
seemed bursting from their sockets and his face was purple with his
effort to speak. Those who had stood with him drew back as if by
instinct, and he stood alone writhing under his curse. Exhausted at
last by violent contortions of his whole frame, he became more calm;
and in answer to the question by the Chief Judge--

"Art thou now convinced of the existence of God?"

He wrote an answer, saying that he was; that he knew there was a God,
but the devil had deceived him by appearing to him as an angel of
light, that he had taught his words because they were pleasing to the
carnal mind, and his success made him believe, finally, that they were
true. He pleaded piteously that the High Priest would remove the
curse, but Alma replied:

"If this curse should be taken from thee, thou wouldst again lead away
the hearts of this people; therefore it shall be unto thee, even as
the Lord will."

Korihor looked around him, but no one gave him recognition as a
friend; those who had accompanied him into the hall stood terror
stricken, and amazement was depicted in every countenance. He realized
that he was deserted in this his extremity, and with a gurgling cry he
fled from the hall and the city.

The vast audience which had breathlessly witnessed this remarkable
scene and the demonstration of the power of God, began to break up,
and quietly leave the hall, each person too deeply impressed with what
he had witnessed to speak to his neighbor. The Chief Judge and the
High Priest were among the last to depart. As the latter was
approaching the door his robe was clutched, and turning round he stood
face to face with his wayward son--Corianton.



CHAPTER FIVE.

THE NEW CONVERT.


For a moment father and son faced each other, but neither spoke. The
proud head of Corianton was bowed, his lips quivered with emotion. The
father held out his hand, and the young man grasped it. "Father," he
said, in humbled tone, "I have sinned against God, and against thee; I
pray you pardon me, and ask thy God to pardon me, too."

"Corianton, thy rebellion against God is in truth a grievous sin. But
youth is thoughtless and wayward, impatient of restraint, easily
misled, and often, too, by generous impulses. The high sounding
phrase, the reckless plea for unbridled license, miscalled liberty, of
which men of Korihor's type well know the influence, the mocking jests
at sober, righteous lives, the boldness which dares mock at sacred
things, and bid defiance even to God, hath in it a false daring which
captures inconsiderate youth, and works its ruin. I do remember my own
youth, Corianton, and how in my mad folly I threw away restraint,
consorted with the wicked, mocked the righteous, and impiously
blasphemed the name of God, and afflicted my noble father's soul as
thou hast mine--but I forgive thee," hastily added the Priest, as a
great sob escaped his son, "as he did me; and so far as my earnest
prayer can pluck down God's forgiveness on thy head, be assured, my
son, my most dear son, God shall forgive thee, too." With these words
ho fondly embraced Corianton, and a few moments later they left the
Hall of Justice together.

At the house of the High Priest they found Ammon, Aaron, Omner and
Himni, and also Helaman and Shiblon, the two elder sons of Alma. The
first four persons named were the sons of Mosiah, the last king of the
Nephites, at whose death the reign of the judges began. These men had
been the companions of Alma from his boyhood, and together in their
youthful days they had been recklessly wicked and sought the
destruction of the Church, as already detailed in chapter two. After
their conversion they had traveled to and fro through all the land of
the Nephites, seeking to undo the mischief they had done; and then
performed glorious missions among the Lamanites where the power of God
had been wondrously manifested to the converting of many of that
people to the truth. Often separated in their labors, cast into
prisons, surrounded by dangers, threatened by mobs, weary, foot-sore,
hungry--now received into palaces and hailed almost as Gods, now
outcasts, without a place to lay their heads--they experienced all the
changes, the successes, and the vicissitudes of missionary life, but
through all of it they were faithful to God, and held each other in
fondest remembrance.

The present occasion of their meeting together was to determine what
steps should be taken in relation to the Zoramites, a people who had
dissented from the Nephites and had established themselves at
Antionum, south of the land Gershon, and bordering on the lands
occupied by the Lamanites; and it was feared they would become
confederate with the Lamanites and create trouble. The meeting held on
the subject the day before had been interrupted by the Chief Judge
sending for Alma to consult over the case of Korihor. Now they had met
to conclude the business thus interrupted.

Alma was warmly greeted by his brethren, who had witnessed the scene
in the Hall of Justice; and all expressed their gratitude to God for
the great manifestation of his power, and the vindication of his
cause.

"The most happy fruit of this issue," said Alma, "is that it gives
back to us my son Corianton; who, at first, stood with the unbeliever,
but now has seen a demonstration of God's power, to the conversion of
his soul." At this announcement the brethren gathered about Corianton
and warmly embraced him, thanking God for his deliverance from
darkness.

It was finally arranged that Alma, Ammon, Aaron, Omner together with
Shiblon and Corianton, should go on a mission to the Zoramites; that
Himni should remain to preside over the church at Zarahemla, assisted
by Helaman.

As the council was breaking up, Alma suggested that he would like to
take with him on this mission Amulek and Zeezrom, but they were in the
city of Melek, west of Zarahemla. Corianton volunteered to go after
them, and Shiblon expressed a willingness to accompany him. That
afternoon they started.

En route they passed through several villages, and on such occasions
were everywhere questioned in relation to the curse which had fallen
upon Korihor, of which they had heard conflicting rumors. The young
men gave to those inquiring correct information, though Corianton in
testifying to the existence of God, and to the truth, was not always
as humble or merciful to those who were not yet converted as was
conformable to the spirit of the gospel, or consistent with the
position which he himself had so lately occupied. It is ever thus with
your new convert; by his actions and by his words you would be led to
think, if you did not know better, that he was the last sinner God was
waiting to bring into his fold before he damned the rest. Shiblon
observed these faults in his brother, but knowing his haughty spirit,
which could ill brook restraint, he resolved to remain silent, and let
those older correct him.

Finding Amulek and Zeezrom, they delivered their message from the
council of the priesthood in Zarahemla, and both these worthy men
returned with them to that city, and from thence the party took its
journey to Antionum, the chief city of the Zoramites.

Of that journey it is necessary to say but little. It occupied eight
days, the party going on foot, driving with them but two asses, on
which were packed the tents, food and other necessary articles for the
comfort of the party. For the sons of Mosiah and Alma, who were all
experienced missionaries, and had passed through many trying scenes
together, as also, indeed, had Amulek and Zeezroni, it was a glorious
reunion; and many and various were the adventures and special
manifestations of the power of God related. To the younger men,
Shiblon and Corianton, it was a feast of spiritual food--the
conversation of these servants of God.



CHAPTER SIX.

THE ZORAMITES.


The sun was slowly sinking in the western sky, as the party of
missionaries presented themselves at the main entrance to the city
Antionum, the gateway of the north wall. They were permitted to pass
in unchallenged, and inquired out a lodging house, where they all
stayed together. Uninformed as to the exact nature of the heresy of
the Zoramites, they had resolved to avoid proclaiming their mission,
until they should become acquainted with the nature of the errors it
was their hope to correct.

The day following their entrance into the city was the holy day of the
Zoramites, when they repaired to the synagogues, of which there were
many, to worship. The interior of their places of worship was
gorgeously decorated. Near the center of each rose a stand, the top of
which extended half the height from the floor to the ceiling. The
stand proper rested on a sort of frustum of a cone. Up the sides were
several flights of steps, and at the top of the frustum was standing
room for a number of people; but in the stand proper there was room
for but one. Each in his turn ascended the single flight of steps to
the top of this holy stand--Rameumptom they called it--and stretching
forth his hands towards heaven, exclaimed in solemn tones:

        Holy, Holy, Holy God!
      Thou art God, There is no God beside.
    Spirit Bright, and Everlasting--
    The same to-day and ever more.
    Separate are we from men--
    Elected us hast Thou and made us holy,
    While all beside thou hast condemned;
    For which, Most High, and Holy God we give Thee thanks--
    That we are not as other men.
    Separated are we from false traditions of the Christ--
    That deep blasphemy of corrupted Nephites,
    Who know not Thee as Spirit-God:
    But as a man expect to see Thee
    Come on earth, and all mankind redeemed!
    For deliverance from such traditions vile
    Most High and Holy God--I give Thee thanks!
      Amen, amen, amen!

At the conclusion of every distinct thought in the above prayer, the
company of worshippers at the top of the frustum would cry
aloud--"Amen, amen!" And at the conclusion of the prayer an unseen
choir accompanied by instruments, chanted selected and slightly
altered passages of the above prayer such as--

"Holy, holy God! Thou art God. Thou are holy. Thou are spirit, and
ever shall be--Holy is thy name! Amen! amen!"

Such was their form of worship, such their set prayers, as witnessed
that day by Alma and his fellow missionaries.

After witnessing this mixture of impiety and hypocrisy,
self-glorification, and abasement of those not of them. Alma thought
it not necessary to wait longer in commencing the work, and hence,
that night he laid hands upon the heads of his associates, blessed
them and set them apart for the accomplishment of the work in hand.
The next morning they separated for the better prosecution of their
enterprise. They took no thought of themselves, what they should eat,
or where they should be lodged. They preached in the synagogues, in
private houses, and even in the streets.

No one in the beginning of this work was more zealous, or more
successful than Corianton. Indeed it was his success that began to
work a great mischief; for it filled him with pride and boasting in
his own strength. By the force of his brilliancy, and a kind of genius
for controversy, he discomfited the Zoramites, and exposed the
shallowness of their principles to the great delight of the multitude
who, though they believed not the message he was delivering, were
immensely pleased with the youthful orator.

There were fundamental truths of the gospel, however, to which
Corianton himself was not converted; the atonement of Christ, the
resurrection, the justice of God in punishing the wicked, being among
them. He found, as many since his day have found, that seeing a single
manifestation of the power of God--a miracle--had not removed all the
difficulties in the way of a sound faith in the gospel; and in his own
mind he began to find ways of accounting for the destruction of
Korihor's speech--his own excitement, the mysterious magnetism of his
father which swayed men's minds, a power which he flattered himself he
had inherited, notwithstanding his unbelief.

One day about sunset, while in this frame of mind, as he was passing
down one of the main thoroughfares of Antionum, he saw a poor,
wretched object begging of those who passed him on the street. He was
miserably clad and filthy, his form emaciated and trembling with
weakness, but there was something in the profile of the face, a
resemblance to a countenance which lived in Corianton's recollection,
that attracted his attention. As he approached nearer he observed a
wildness about the man, occasioned by desperate efforts at speech,
resulting only in harsh, disconnected and unintelligible mumbling. To
his astonishment, it was Korihor. The form was wasted, the features
shrunken almost past recognition, and insanity glared from his wild
eyes. Corianton gazed in pity upon him, and Korihor returned that look
with one of puzzled wonder. Then as the mists and confusion of his
mind cleared up for the moment, he recognized his former, and what he
accounted his false friend, and with a wild shriek fled out into the
street, looking back at Corianton as he ran with an air expressive of
horror. At that moment a troop of horsemen was passing down the
street, and so sudden had been the poor half maniac's flight from the
presence of Corianton, that he threw himself in front of the horsemen,
and before they could check their speed or change their course, he was
knocked down and trampled upon.

A crowd quickly gathered around the bruised and bleeding form. His
case was notorious in Antionum, and it was generally believed that his
dumbness was brought upon him through sorcery; hence, even while he
was shunned by the people, there were many who sympathized with him,
so far, at least, as execrating those who had been the means, as they
thought, of bringing the evil upon him. Corianton ran to the man and
raised him to a sitting posture, but he never regained consciousness;
a few painful gasps, and the body sank back into the arms of the young
man, limp and lifeless. One of the guards of the city came up to the
crowd, and, recognizing the body as that of the dumb, half-crazed
beggar, he took charge of it, and finally interred it.

As Corianton walked away with the mangled form of the once bold
anti-Christ vividly pictured in his mind, he muttered half
aloud--"This is one of the judgments of God--cruel, infinitely cruel!
He above all others could have been generous and have pardoned him
before his justice," and he fairly hissed the word, "had turned to
cruelty!"

By this time he had reached his lodgings, one of the finest palaces in
all that city, and strange enough, it was the home of one of the chief
Zoramites who had been especially pleased, or at least feigned to be
especially pleased, with Corianton, and had invited him to make his
house his home. At the entrance to the walk leading up to the house,
he was met by a woman, who asked if he was one of the Nephite prophets
that had come to preach the doctrines of the Nephites to the
Zoramites. Corianton answered that he was of that party. "And is your
name Corianton?"

"Yes, that is my name."

"Then at last I have found you!"



CHAPTER SEVEN.

JOAN.


Was the woman who accosted Corianton at the gate of his lodging,
young, beautiful? He could not tell; the twilight had deepened too
much into the shadow of night, to permit him to see clearly; but there
was a fascination in the full, sweet tones of her voice, and he was
thrilled by the touch of her soft hand, as she laid it gently on his
arm, as if to detain him while asking the questions with which the
last chapter closed.

"You are going to Seantum's?"

"Yes, that is where I lodge."

"I will go with you."

He hesitated, and was not a little astonished at her perfect
self-possession, which, to his thinking, bordered on boldness. It must
be remembered that among the Nephites, one of the chief
characteristics of their women, so far as one is able to judge from
their annals, was modesty--an excellent thing in woman, when not
feigned or prudish. The freedom, therefore, with which this woman had
accosted him, a perfect stranger, and now proposed to go with him,
uninvited, to the place where he lodged, was a boldness to which
Corianton was unaccustomed. She observed that he hesitated, and broke
out into a light, silvery laugh.

"Ah, I forgot," she said, in an apologizing tone, yet with a touch of
mockery in it, "thou art one of the prophets, perhaps a solemn one,
and unacquainted with our people, and my manners are too bold. But
Seantum, with whom you lodge, is a near kinsman--my father's brother;
now, will you throw open the gate, and allow me to go in with you?"

He complied with her request mechanically, and in silence, for he knew
not what to say. As they approached the house he again felt that soft
hand laid gently on his arm, and the same sweet voice said, almost
pleadingly: "Let us not go into the house yet, the evening is
beautiful; see, the moon is just peeping over the tree tops, and
floods the earth with her soft light--let us walk in the garden." She
had retained her hold upon his arm, and obeying her will rather than
his own, he turned down a path leading away from the house.

The house of Seantum was situated at the southern outskirts of the
city, in the midst of a spacious and splendid garden. There were
extensive lawns, studded with tropical trees, several species of palms
and plantain; the cocoa trees standing in groups, their great tufts of
gigantic leaves rustling in the moonlight at the height of sixty and
seventy feet; banana and papaw trees growing side by side in rows
along the walks, and back of them in irregular order stood
pomegranates, while here and there were clumps of lindens,
interspersed with sumach and cashew, and a great variety of evergreen
shrubbery. Here side by side, and in fine contrast, were
rhododendrons, with their rose-colored flowers, and the coffee shrub
with its clusters of delicate white blossoms. Other flowers and
flowering trees there were in great profusion--the fragrant eglantine,
the elegant, airy though thorny acacia, and now and then an aloe
plant, and, ah, rare sight! several of them were in full bloom; these,
with splendid magnolias, mingled their odors; and burdened the air
with ambrosial fragrance, which, with the chirrup and hum of insect
life, the gentle whispering wind, stealing softly through shrubbery
and tree, and all kissed to beauty by the glorious moonlight, made up
a night such as lovers love, and love's young dream expands.

"You are not at all curious," said Corianton's new-found companion.
"You have not yet asked my name, nor why I am here, nor what it is I
want with you--you have not spoken half a dozen words since we
met--you smile, do you mean by that I have not given you a chance to
say more?"

"Such were my thoughts, lady, but I would know your name, and am most
curious to know what you would with me."

By this they had reached a lakelet at the lower end of the garden,
from whose moist beach grew several gigantic mango and sycamore trees.
They had passed in the shadow of one of the latter whose inclining
trunk extended far out over the water-lily bedecked lake. Half seating
herself on the inclined tree, she raised her hand to clutch a grape
vine that drooped from a branch above, and as she did so the ample
folds of her sleeve slipped back and left uncovered a beautiful white
arm.  And now Corianton noticed for the first time that the form was
supple and finely proportioned. Her head, too, had been covered with a
kind of mantilla which had also partly shrouded her face; this fell
back now, revealing a face of uncommon loveliness, and a profusion of
brown hair.

"You must know then, sir prophet," she said with a light air, "that I
am Joan, from Siron; my father is a Nephite by birth, but when young
met with my mother, taken captive during a war with your people. He
fell in love with the captive, married her and she induced him to go
with her to her people. They settled in Siron where they lived happily
until my mother died. My father still lives, and has never been
entirely rid of the traditions of the Nephites, and hearing that a
party of Nephite prophets were preaching in Antionum, it was his wish
that I should come to our kinsman Seantum, find you, and ask that you
would also preach in Siron."

"But why did you come to me? I do not lead our party, I am youngest in
it."

"Ah, sir prophet, you are more famous than you know. It was Corianton
that we first heard of in Siron; it is he whose eloquence most baffles
the Zoramites, and threatens the disruption of their church--believe
me, sir, I was charged by my father to bid you come."

Oh, flattery! what man is proof against thy sweet, seducing charms!
And how those charms are heightened, when flattery falls from beauty's
lips! The vanity of Corianton was well pleased with the words of the
woman; pride swelled his bosom, and he felt exalted above his
brethren.

"For two days I have sought you" (Corianton had been absent two days
from his lodgings), "now I have found you and delivered my message,
will you go to Siron?"

"I cannot say, lady, I must first confer with my brethren, and if by
them it is thought best, I--"

"What! are you not free to come and go where and when you like. Are
you in bondage?"

"No, lady, not in bondage, yet it is mete I counsel with my
associates, and if--"

"And 'if' they give you leave, why then you'll go! Ah me, that is such
liberty as a maiden has under her father's control. I've often wished
myself a man, that I might have a more extended liberty, but if men
cannot act independent of control, it pleases me that I am a woman.  I
fear, Sir prophet, that I shall never be a convert to your faith."

"Then I would esteem my success in Siron of little value though I
gained the whole people, if I failed to number one so fair among those
who followed me."

"Come, sir, let us now go in; you begin to find your tongue, and even
a prophet, I see, can flatter."

So saying she drew her mantle over her head, and they walked in
silence towards the house.

Corianton, as he walked away, did not observe shadowy forms glide from
under adjacent trees, hold a brief consultation and depart from the
spot which he himself had just quitted.



CHAPTER EIGHT.

THE REVEL.


As Corianton and Joan approached the house, lively strains of music
floated out upon the evening air, and lights gleamed from all the
windows; now sounds of revelry could be heard--the merry laugh, and
flying feet. In the hall they were met by Seantum. "Returned home at
last, Corianton, eh?" he said with blustering familiarity, "what, and
with Joan, too!"

"Yes, kinsman; I found our prophet as he was entering the grounds, and
have detained him long enough to deliver my message."

"Quite right, too, quite right; if you have anything to do, do it, and
do it at once, say I. But come, sir, some young people have gathered
here, to make merry the night, recreation will do you good, sir; youth
was made for enjoyment, sir, and youth cheats itself if it make not
good use of its time."

"Oh, kinsman, you forget!" said Joan. "This man, though he hath not a
gray beard, or a stooped back--and though he hath no staff, yet is he
a holy man! and will account the youthful revels you commend, as
sinful. Alas," said she, with charming mock solemnity,--"alas, that
youth should so soon wed itself to the vocation of the aged! Besides,
I warrant me, he will tell thee he must first counsel with his
fellow-prophets, before he can stir in what you would have him enjoy.
So pray forbear, tempt not the holy prophet!" And with this
tantalizing witchery she left him.

Seantum laughed heartily at the evident discomfiture of Corianton. "By
my life, sir, she hath hit you as hard with her sarcasm of your
solemnities, as your ridicule hits the weakness of our Zoramite faith;
but come, sir, come, you must rally, you must let her see that you
have spirit--which I know you have--go in, sir," lowering his voice,
"it shall not harm your reputation; go in, you shall find beauty,
gaiety, pleasure and secrecy beneath my roof--go in, sir; youth was
made for pleasure!"

His pride, wounded by the light sarcasm of Joan, and, influenced, it
must also be confessed, by the cajolery of Seantum, Corianton permitted
himself to be led down the hall into a spacious saloon, brilliantly
lighted by cressets, and at one end of which, on a platform, was
arranged a banqueting table, ladened profusely with all the delicacies
of the tropics--a rich variety of meats, fruits and wines, of which
all were free to partake at pleasure. The ceiling and wall of the
saloon were frescoed with voluptuous figures or grim monsters, half
animal, half human--with here and there indications that some
knowledge of the old mythologies was still retained; the windows were
draped with curtains of rich stuffs, variously colored; their ample
folds gently stirred by the soft breeze which stole into the room,
filling it with the rich perfumes of the garden. The floor was
variegated Mosaic work, smooth as polished ivory, covered at the sides
and ends by soft carpeting.

As Corianton and Seantum entered the saloon, a pretty dark-eyed girl
was executing a sort of fandango to the evident delight of a number of
young men sitting or lounging promiscuously about the room. At the
conclusion of the dance the girl was greeted warmly with a round of
applause. Then there was quiet, broken occasionally by light ripples
of laughter, the hum of confused conversation, or occasional commands
to the slaves to serve fruits or wines. There were whispered nothings,
tender caresses, and loose jests. Groups of women of all degrees of
beauty were reclining on divans or cushions, half concealed by the
rich foliage of gigantic plants in great vases; and sometimes in
recesses nearly shut out from the main body of the saloon by closely
drawn curtains.

The entrance of Seantum and Corianton had attracted no attention; but
as the tall, graceful Nephite passed the various groups, the girls
broke out in exclamations of admiration--"how handsome!" "how young!"
"what fine eyes!--and what a form!" "who is he?" "a stranger--a
Nephite." All this agitated Corianton, and rendered him uneasy.
Arriving at the head of the saloon, he was introduced to a group of
young men about his own age.

"This is my Nephite prophet of whom you have heard me speak," said
Seantum, "receive him as my honored guest and friend." At this
Corianton was warmly saluted, and called upon to pledge the
acquaintance in wine. There was no retreating now, nor could there be
any refusal.

"Though our new friend is a Nephite," said Seantum, after the pledge
of friendship had been drunk, "and reared under traditions which we
have forsaken, religious differences, arising solely from training in
childhood, should make no difference in social life." "No, no," broke
in several voices. "Let us bury thoughts of all such differences in
another bowl of wine," said a youth of Lamanitish appearance, and
already under the influence of the beverage he now called for.

At that moment in the lower part of the saloon some one was greeted by
hearty applause; looking in that direction Joan was seen advancing
clad in loose, fleecy garments; she held in her hand a long strip of
crimson gauze, and as she reached the middle of the saloon she shook
out its folds and began a dance of exquisite grace.

What mischief hath not been worked by the witching grace exhibited by
beautiful women in the dance! The elegance and harmony of motion, the
poetry of movement, gives a lustre to beauty and influences the senses
through the imagination. 'Twas the dancing of the fair daughter of
Jared which drove Akish of old to pledge himself to murder King Omer
among the Jaredites; and men hereafter shall promise with an oath
anything to the half of a kingdom, to some fair one for dancing before
them.

Never had Corianton seen such a combination of motion and beauty as
that now before him. The slight willowy form of Joan swaying with easy
grace, the poise of the head, the movement of the arms, all in perfect
harmony with the rest of her actions. Frequently the company applauded
her, but now evidently the dance is drawing to a close, concluding
with rapid whirling round the entire saloon. As she passed near
Corianton she suddenly threw her gauze scarf over his head, as a
challenge for him to join her in the finale; and he, forgetful of all
but her loveliness and bewitching grace, caught her hand, holding the
tips of her fingers, and accompanied her in that whirling circuit. He
had evidently acquitted himself well, for he shared in the applause
which greeted her, and the compliments that followed.

"Ah, my friend, I scarcely thought a prophet could do so well," she
whispered, in her taunting manner; but seeing that he turned pale at
her remark, and that a pained expression also passed over his
features, she quickly added "you did well, I am proud of you, and you
must be my companion for the night;" and her hand once more stole
within his arm.

The revels were continued through the night, wine flowed as freely as
water, and long before the gray dawn began to break in the east, many
had sunk down in a helpless, drunken sleep. Corianton also was
intoxicated, but not so much with wine as with the beauty and chic of
Joan. When she left him, as she did soon after midnight, he began to
realize the situation into which his half thoughtless indiscretion had
plunged him, and he knew not how he would well answer his brethren for
his conduct. Though he had drunk but little wine, not being accustomed
to it his brain was on fire, and a mad spirit of recklessness seized
him. Passing a group of young fellows in an advanced stage of
intoxication in one of the recesses of the saloon, he was hailed by
them, and congratulated upon his conquest of the fairest lady in all
their land. He joined them in their praises of her beauty and in their
revel. What he did, what was done he knew not, his brain was
confused--he had an indistinct recollection of boisterous, frenzied
jollity, then high words, a quarrel, but not the reason of it, and
then all was darkness, oblivion.



CHAPTER NINE.

ISABEL.


As the grey light of morning struggled through the heavy curtained
windows of the saloon, Corianton awoke. For some time he lay half
bewildered, unable to call to mind what had happened, or where he was,
conscious only of the heavy, dull pain in his head. At last, however,
the revels of the past night were conjured up by his recollection; but
awakening consciousness brought with it a sickening sense of shame. He
was lying on a cushioned divan in one of the many recesses opening
into the saloon, and near him in a heavy stupor, on the floor, was a
young Lamanite girl. He arose and staggered from the recess to seek
the open air. In the saloon the lights in the cressets were burning
low, but giving out sufficient of their pale, yellow light to reveal
the general disorder that prevailed. Fruits, drinking bowls, withered
flowers and ottomans lay scattered about promiscuously. The banquet
table itself with its burden of fruits and wines and silver furniture,
had been overturned, doubtless in the melee which followed the
quarrel, of which Corianton had but an indistinct recollection. Near
the door leading into the hall were two slaves sleeping in each
other's arms--worn out by the services of the past night.

Corianton wended his way through all this debris and at last reached
the garden; but neither the cool morning air, the song of birds nor
the perfume of flowers brought relief to his aching heart or troubled
mind.

He followed the same path down which Joan had led him the night before
to the margin of the lake, and stood under the same trees where her
loveliness first attracted his attention. Again he saw her half
reclining against the tree, once more heard her sweet voice deriding
his faith and mocking at the bondage it brought with it--"What, are
you not free? Are you in bondage?" she had said; and the humiliation he
had experienced by the taunting question still hurt his pride. He
sought a bower near at hand, and stretching himself upon a seat
beneath it, was soon lost in a fitful slumber.

He was suddenly awakened by some one in a subdued but hurried tone
calling his name. Shaking off his sleep at last, he was surprised and
not a little troubled at seeing his brother Shiblon standing over him.

"Wake, brother, wake and leave this horrible place!" The speaker was
pale and evidently much excited. "Come brother, in the name of God
shake off this slumber, and come with me before it is too late!"

"Why Shiblon, what's amiss?"

"Alas, I fear thou art amiss; and your bad deeds are like to bring
trouble to us all. Your association with harlots in this place is the
talk of the whole city, and everywhere we are threatened with
violence--we can no longer preach to the people since they judge us
all by your conduct, and condemn us all as hypocrites and bid us be
gone. The other brethren have started to leave the city, but I came in
search of you; now brother, come--in God's name come! Come, let us
leave together; by a penitent life you may yet cancel this great
sin--you are young--not yet hardened in vice; I pray you, come!"

Corianton stood before his brother bewildered; to him his speech was
incoherent--wild. "Shiblon," said he, "I have not associated with
harlots, and though the revels of last night were indiscreet, I am
free from such sin as you impute to me."

"God grant that you are, and far be it from me to believe that you add
the sin of falsehood to a grosser sin; but brother, the house of
Seantum where you have lodged, is the worst den of infamy in all
Antionum, and only last night you were seen in loving converse on the
shores of this very lake with the harlot Isabel."

"Isabel!" echoed Corianton, "I know and have seen no such woman. I
walked through the grounds here last evening with Joan, niece of
Seantum, and though of sprightly disposition yet modest, and I believe
as virtuous as she is fair."

"Oh, Corianton, in this you are cozened. That woman is not Joan, nor
is she Seantum's niece; but a wicked harlot from Siron whose body to
the chief men of this city has been as common as their wills have
desired it; you have fallen into the trap laid by the Zoramites to
destroy the mission in this city. Seantum is one of the leaders of the
Zoramites, he it was who sent for this cunning harlot to work your
ruin, and in that hoped for the destruction of our mission; and he has
succeeded, alas! too well. They have deceived you; and as the devil
appears as an angel of light, so this woman assumes a virtue that she
possesses not, and by that seeming grace wins you to your destruction.
But break this chain, and let us flee."

Before Corianton could reply there was heard a hurrying of feet and
they were surrounded by a body of men.

"Take that man," said Seantum, pointing to Shiblon, "and bind him."
The young man saw at a glance that neither flight nor resistance would
avail anything, and he submitted without an effort at either.

"Corianton," said Seantum, "I overheard the ungracious words of your
brother against my house and my kinswoman, and I insist upon a
vindication of both before the magistrates of this city; hence I have
taken him, but I mean him no further mischief; and does not justice to
my great reputation and to my household dictate the taking of this
course?"

"Though the sentence fall upon my brother, I must say your cause is
just; let him answer it before your judges, and let this experience
teach him discretion."

"Corianton," said Shiblon, "I complain not at my captivity, incurred
by an anxiety for your good; nor shall I shrink before the judges
however unjust or merciless they may be. But take my advice, if you
are still free from the sin that reputation sticks on you, lose no
time in leaving this man's accursed house; trust not his friendship,
for it is poison; believe not in the pretensions of the harlot Isabel,
Joan she is not, she is one whose feet go down to death, whose steps
take hold on hell!"

"Away with him, and stop his slanderous mouth!" cried Corianton, white
with rage. One of those who held him, struck Shiblon a blow in the
face.

"Noble Seantum," continued Corianton, "see that yourself and your fair
niece be cleared of those slanders, and tell her that there is one
Nephite at least who can rise above the prejudices of a narrow faith
and not impute lewdness to mirthfulness, nor wantonness to innocent
gaiety."

"Be assured, sir," replied the one addressed, "I shall not fail to
report you truly to the fair Joan; and you shall not suffer in her
estimation by reason of your brother's slander."

"Brother, you are now blinded by your infatuation and anger," said
Shiblon, whose spirit neither blows nor prospective harsher treatment
could daunt, "but the time will come, when the scales will fall, and
you will see the black wickedness of those who have entrapped your
unwary feet; farewell, and whatever fate overtakes me, remember I
suffer it out of love of you."

He was then dragged away in the direction of the house, followed by
Seantum.



CHAPTER TEN.

TAUNTS OF THE CROWD.


Left alone to battle with the contending emotions that struggled in
his breast, and his anger having subsided, Corianton began to be
plagued with rising apprehensions. What if Shiblon were right? What if
he had been duped by the crafty Zoramites? Many things that passed
under his observation in the banqueting saloon the night before now
arose to give support to his increasing fears. "Yet, I'll not believe
it, until proven true, then if she be indeed a harlot, and hath
betrayed me into this compromising position, may God pity her, for she
hath need of pity!"

With these words he left the garden and started in the direction of
the market place of the city.

He observed as he walked along that many people looked curiously at
him, and turned to follow him with their gaze. As he turned into one
of the principal streets he heard a tumult, and saw an excited crowd
of people rapidly gathering about two men who were evidently making
efforts to extricate themselves from the throng. They were coming in
his direction, and stepping aside into a narrow alleyway, he thought
to let the throng pass without being observed. As the crowd drew near,
to his astonishment, he saw the two men were his father and Ammon. The
mob at their heels, however, was evidently, as yet, good natured, and
were merely mocking them. Some who occasionally ran in front of them
would shout at the spectators gathered at the sides of the streets--

"Behold the Nephite prophet, who comes to teach us 'holiness' while
his son makes merry the night with harlots!"

"Teach your own son virtue before you leave your cities to convert the
Zoramites," cried another.

"The son's no worse than the father I'll warrant," shouted a third.

"Nor so bad either," broke in several.

"Say old greybeard," said a voice from the crowd, "which of you holy
men is contracted to Isabel to-night?" and the insinuation was
followed by shouts of laughter.

So the crowd passed on, yelling, cursing, mocking, deriding, pushing;
the spirit of violence constantly increasing. The two prophets
answered nothing, but bore all meekly; the only sign of emotion being
the tears that silently flowed down the furrowed cheeks of Alma at the
taunts thrown at him respecting his son; indeed he seemed weighed down
with grief, and would have been trampled under foot but for the
support of his strong companion, who bore him up, and kept back those
who would have used violence had they dared.

The crowd passed and their shouts rose faintly above the busy hum of
life in the city, and then at last died away altogether.

Corianton had remained in the alley way from which he had seen and
heard what is described above; there he stood trembling from head to
foot in an agony of shame and terror. At last he walked away, and
rather from instinct than design he retraced his footsteps in the
direction of Seantum's.



CHAPTER ELEVEN.

FACE TO FACE.


As he walked along Corianton increased his speed; passion rocked his
frame, and a deep design for revenge filled his heart. He passed down
the path with rapid strides and entered the hall of Seantum's
dwelling. Here he met a maid who had attended on Joan--Isabel,--and in
whose company he had left her the night before.

"Where is your mistress, maid?" he demanded in no gentle tones.

"She is yet in her room, sir prophet," said the maid, trembling with
fear.

"And where is that room?"

"The first door to the left opens to a passage leading to it; shall I
say to my mistress you would see her?"

"No," he replied in tones husky with anger. "I will see her
unannounced. Small need to stand on ceremony with such as she."

And with a few rapid strides he reached the door indicated, and
entered the passage leading to the splendid rooms set apart for the
use of Isabel.

He threw aside the heavy curtain drawn across the passage and stood in
the presence of the woman bent on his destruction. She was seated on a
low ottoman with a silver mirror in her hand and a slave was just
putting the finishing touches to her toilet. She hastily arose as
Corianton entered, and intense anger flashed in her dark eyes.

"Methinks this entrance is somewhat rude, bold Nephite. At least I
should have thought a 'prophet' would have had respect for a maiden's
privacy."

"Aye, no doubt he would. All men would respect a maiden's privacy; the
most licentious wretch would tremble did he invade its hallowed
precinct. But who respects the privacy of a commoner? Who pauses on
the threshold of a strumpet?"

"Commoner? Strumpet?" echoed Isabel, choking with rage, "what mean
you?"

"Mean? mean?" he cried, "I mean that the mask behind which you would
hide as Joan is snatched away. I mean that you are a base harlot; that
that fair face is besmirked with loathsome filth, that the sweet tones
of your voice, the arch smile, that angel form, are but the
blandishments of hell to decoy men to ruin. I mean that you with your
paramours conspired to work my undoing; and I, fool-like, must walk in
midday light into your traps."

He had approached her at this climax of his passion and seized her by
the throat! With a shriek she sank upon her knees before him in
terror. Finding her helpless in his grasp, he recovered his
self-control sufficiently to loose his hold.

"No, no, I will not kill you--I meant not to harm you--pardon me. O,
my God! why, oh why, is this woman so foul and yet so fair that heated
rage is cooled, madness subdued to gentleness, and man's purposed
revenge weeps itself to softness in woman's tears?" Covering his face
with his hands he sank into a settee overpowered by the emotions which
shook his frame.

By this time Isabel had recovered from the terror into which
Corianton's sudden rage had thrown her; and deeply read in man's moods
and passions, she saw what an influence she held over the one now
before her. Stealing softly to his side, and placing her hand on his
shoulder she gently said:

"Corianton, have you done well in thus proceeding? What have I done to
merit such harsh treatment--such bitter words--how deserved it?"

"What have you done?" he cried--"you came to me with a lie on your
lips, deceit in your heart, and under the guise of innocence, purity
and goodness sought to encompass my ruin!--Well madame, your plans
have carried--I am undone--ruined! I can never return to my people, to
them I am infamous--an outcast!" And again his form was convulsed in
an agony of grief.

"But may there not be some extenuating circumstances to free me from
the harsh judgment you passed upon me? Trained from my childhood to
hate your people, and taught that all means were proper that would
lead to their destruction, the helpless instrument of unscrupulous men
bent on defeating your mission to the Zoramites--is it any wonder that
I undertook the part assigned me in the scheme? But Corianton," and
she sank on her knees at his feet, "the moment I saw you--so noble in
bearing--so young--my heart relented; I shrank from the performance
of the wicked plot--but what was I to do? Had I told you the truth--
that I was Isabel--the infamy of that name would have steeled your
heart against me--you would have driven me from you as an unclean
thing; and your presence--the nobility which looked from your eyes,
inspired me with love such as I have never known before--I experienced
a longing for something better than I had known--a desire for purity,
goodness, virtue, that I might be worthy of you; and even wicked and
unclean as I am, hope whispered high promises to my woman's
heart--'love will forgive and forget the past; it lives only in the
present and for the future,' it said; but alas! it was a vain hope--I
awake and find it dust! Oh, why is there so much difference between
man and woman! No matter what the past of a man may have been, he hath
but to repent, and all is forgiven--and, forgotten. But when a woman
falls, 'tis never more to rise or be forgiven."

These indirect appeals to him touched the gentler nature of Corianton,
and bending over her as he took her hand, he said: "Nay, do not weep;
if I have fallen I alone am to blame, I should have had better
discretion. I am no coward to lay the blame upon another. I alone am
to blame and I will alone bear the burden of God's displeasure."

"Corianton," cried Isabel as a sudden idea seized her, "if you are an
outcast; come to me, go with me to Siron; we are both young, we may
live for each other, and life may yield us much of happiness--I will
be true to you, work for you, nay, my proud spirit is conquered by my
love, I will even be your slave; let us unite our shattered fortunes:
all may yet be well."

Oh youth, how elastic is thy texture! Oppressed with the heaviest
grief, bowed down into the dust by ruin, thy buoyancy will up-raise
the soul--hope dwells perennially in thy breast! The proposition of
Isabel revived the sinking spirits of Corianton, and under the
influence of her hopeful words his life yet seemed to promise
something worth living for.

"If you have become an outcast from your people," she continued, "and
that through me, I will become an outcast from those who knew me here,
I will forsake my friends for you; and then, hand in hand, we will
seek our new and better fortune. But men are changeful in their love,"
she added, "and when time or care steals beauty from our checks, your
eyes will wander--swear to be true to me, Corianton."

Her arms stole gently about his neck and she looked pleadingly into
his eyes. All his love for this woman now seemed to go out to her, and
warmly returning her tender embrace he said:

"Do not fear the vanishing of my love, Isabel, for I do love thee with
my whole heart, better than my country, my people or my God--the last
I am estranged from, and henceforth thou shalt be my idol," and he
lovingly kissed her lips.

That night they left for Siron, and reached their destination.

The following day when it became known that Corianton had gone to
Siron with Isabel, the excitement in Antionum greatly increased.
Shiblon the day before had been released from his bondage and was
stoned by the people in the streets, led on by some of the servants of
Seantum. He escaped them, however, and joined his father and brethren,
and told them of the blind infatuation of Corianton.

It was decided that it would be useless to attempt to preach longer to
the people of Antionum, and that evening the brethren of the mission
departed for the land of Jershon, their spirits bowed down with grief
at the hardness of the hearts of the Zoramites; but sorrowing most of
all for the wickedness of Corianton and the disgrace he had brought
upon the work.

Zoram and his associates, chief among whom was Seantum, were not
satisfied with the departure of the Nephite prophets; but formed the
resolution of driving from their midst those who had believed in their
words. Hence they sent among the people secretly to find out those who
believed in the words which Alma and his companions had taught; and
learned the sentiments of those who disbelieved their teachings. The
reports justified them in concluding they could drive the former out
of their land with impunity. The effort was successful; and the
outcasts fled to Jershon where the people of Ammon received them with
gladness, and provided for their immediate wants.



CHAPTER TWELVE.

THE LOVE OF A WANTON.


The home of Isabel, in Siron, was nearly as magnificent as that of
Seantum in Antionum. All that wealth could do to satisfy the caprice
and extravagant tastes of woman, had evidently been lavished upon
Isabel by her lovers. For two days after the arrival from Antionum she
had been all that could be desired by Corianton--loving, gentle, and
at times sprightly. But the morning of the third day when he suggested
leaving her establishment, whose luxury constantly reminded him of her
former life and shame, she manifested some petulance, and replied--

"You knew who and what I was before you came here, I take it unkindly
that you upbraid me for the past."

The fact was that during the night Zoram had arrived from Antionum and
was filled with jealous rage. He feared the young and handsome Nephite
had won the fancy of his mistress, and demanded that he should be
gotten rid of.

About midday Corianton entered the apartments of Isabel and urged
again that she would consent to leave Siron and go to a land where she
was not known and there begin their new life.

"There is the door," she said coolly, "if you like not to stay, you
may go."

"Nay, Isabel, but you promised that you would forsake all this for
me!"

"And are you so simple as to believe a woman's words? I was blinded by
my infatuation and half repentance, but the dream is past, I am myself
again, and see we are not suited to each other; you had better return
to your people, sir prophet, fall down at their feet, and seek their
forgiveness."

He stood amazed--twice deceived and by this woman--twice damned in
shame for a thing scarce worth his pity!

"And is this the return for my great love for you?" he asked.

"That for your love," and she threw a goblet of wine in his face. "I
despise both you and your love."

Several of the servants and Zoram entering the apartment at that
moment, she threw herself into the arms of the latter, saying as she
kissed him, "this is my love--my prince--my king of men! Now go!" she
cried, pointing to the door.

"Not I," replied Corianton; "I will not budge until I have laid him
dead at my feet who set on foot the plan that brought my shame!" And
he sprang at Zoram with the fury of an enraged tiger. Before he could
reach him, however, he was overpowered by the servants and bound
securely. Zoram had drawn his dagger, and would have killed the
Nephite, but Isabel clung to him.

"No, no, you shall not slay him, he is my prey, and 'tis for me to say
what shall be his fate. Nephite," she said, "our friend Korihor went
into your chief city where, through sorcery, he was smitten dumb and
fled from your land. He returned to us half crazed, and miserably
perished. That, your people said, was a judgment of God,--a
manifestation of his almighty power. Now live, return to your people
to be the scorn and shame of the times, and let them know that your
fall is a manifestation of Isabel's power--let it be Corianton for
Korihor--Isabel against your God!"

* * *

"See that a number of servants go with him as guards and take him to
the borders of the land Jershon," said Zoram. "Come, move, slaves,
away with him, and be not over-tender of him in your journey!"

Two men were soon mounted, and Corianton, his hands bound behind him,
was compelled to run between them, each of his guards holding him by a
thong fastened about his body. All that day and night, and part of the
next day they continued their journey, with occasional rests for
themselves and their horses. Reaching the borders of the land of
Jershon before noon of the second day, they cruelly beat their
prisoner and left him, directing their course for Siron.



CHAPTER THIRTEEN.

A BROTHER'S LOVE.


Left more dead than alive by his hard journey and merciless beating,
Corianton lay in a stupor for some time. Regaining consciousness he
wandered, he knew not whither, but at last came to one of the chief
towns of the people of Ammon; where a large number of the outcast
Zoramites had been given a resting place. In passing through the
streets he was recognized by some of them, and the news of his return
soon spread throughout the city.

The people came running together to see him. Some looked on him with
pity, others looked upon him as the author of all their distress and
began clamoring for vengeance. The latter class was by far the more
numerous, and the excitement was growing uncontrolable. "Stone him,
stone him!" was the cry. Corianton, hard pressed, threw back his
tattered robe, and addressing the crowd said--

"Yes, good people, I am the cause of the affliction that has befallen
you--let my life pay the penalty of my follies--I refuse not to
die--to die would be relief."

Those who heard these words, and saw the majesty of the speaker,
fallen though he was, were awed into silence; but those on the
outskirts of the ever-increasing crowd still clamored for his life,
and even began to cast stones at him. These volleys soon caused those
near him to draw back, and he stood alone. Shrouding his face in his
mantle he sank to the ground prepared to meet the worst.

At that moment a clear, strong voice rose above the tumult of the mob:
"In the name of God, hold! Stay your hands, men! Let him be accursed
that casts another stone!"

Shiblon, all breathless, pushed his way through that angry crowd to
where his brother lay, half stunned and bleeding. He threw aside the
mantle and bent over the poor, bruised form. "Alas! my brother, cast
down and well nigh destroyed!" and the tears flowed down his cheeks
and dropped upon the half unconscious face of Corianton. Then the
murmurs of the crowd, awed but for the moment by Shiblon's appearance,
rose into cries for vengeance. Quickly rising to his feet, Shiblon
waved his hand for silence and thus addressed them:

"You people from Antionum, listen to me. My father and the sons of
Mosiah, together with this my brother and myself, came into your midst
to teach you the truth. Out of love for you my father, though bowed
with age and unremitting toil in the behalf of others, left the
pleasures and comforts of his home, risked his life, and endured the
scoffs of the proud Zoramites, that you might live, and live in the
truth, and be free, and for this you would reward him by slaying his
dearest son, who fell by the practice of a cunning harlot. I grant you
the sin was great; such as he are great, even in their sins; and they
are likewise great in their sufferings.

"If his crime is worthy of death, has he not already suffered more
than death? The burden of his great sin he must carry through
life--and could his worst enemy be gratified by casting one more stone
at this poor, bleeding body, or be pleased by adding one more pang to
his tortured mind? Oh, men! has pity, mercy, gratitude left your
breasts; and does your mad frenzy make you brutish beasts? My
brother's sin is more against himself and God than you, and it is for
you to leave him to the justice and mercy of his God who hath said,
'Vengeance is mine, I will repay."

The crowd slunk away, except those who remained to assist Shiblon in
removing his brother to the home of Ammon, who lived in the city. Here
his wounds were dressed; and he was attended upon by Shiblon with all
the devotion of a loving brother.

His father forgave him, and took no small pains in teaching him,
instilling into his soul faith in the great fundamental truths of the
Gospel. And Corianton's proud, haughty spirit now humbled to the dust,
listened with prayerful attention to the instruction of his father,
and found the faith of the Gospel the stay and hope of his soul, and
no longer questioned, but lovingly trusted in the justice and mercy of
God.

May it not be that even this great sin was necessary to humble his
pride, and prepare him to receive and sense the gospel, that by and
through it he might be prepared to receive the highest degree of glory
to which his nature could attain, and which he never could have
attained with his pride unbroken?

"I give unto men weakness," saith the Lord, "that they may be humble;
and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before
me."





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