to strike). ANDROCLES. Easy, Ferrovius, easy: you broke the last man's
jaw. Lentulus, with a moan of terror, attempts to fly; but Ferrovius
holds him ruthlessly. FERROVIUS. Yes; but I saved his soul. What matters
a broken jaw? LENTULUS. Don't touch me, do you hear? The law--
FERROVIUS. The law will throw me to the lions tomorrow: what worse could
it do were I to slay you? Pray for strength; and it shall be given to
you. LENTULUS. Let me go. Your religion forbids you to strike me.
FERROVIUS. On the contrary, it commands me to strike you. How can you
turn the other cheek, if you are not first struck on the one cheek?
LENTULUS (almost in tears) But I'm convinced already that what you said
is quite right. I apologize for striking you. FERROVIUS (greatly
pleased) My son: have I softened your heart? Has the good seed fallen in
a fruitful place? Are your feet turning towards a better path? LENTULUS
(abjectly) Yes, yes. There's a great deal in what you say. FERROVIUS
(radiant) Join us. Come to the lions. Come to suffering and death.
LENTULUS (falling on his knees and bursting into tears) Oh, help me.
Mother! mother! FERROVIUS. These tears will water your soul and make it
bring forth good fruit, my son. God has greatly blessed my efforts at
conversion. Shall I tell you a miracle--yes, a miracle--wrought by me in
Cappadocia? A young man--just such a one as you, with golden hair like
yours--scoffed at and struck me as you scoffed at and struck me. I sat
up all night with that youth wrestling for his soul; and in the morning
not only was he a Christian, but his hair was as white as snow.
(Lentulus falls in a dead faint). There, there: take him away. The
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