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Gesta Romanorum Vol. II (1871)/Of Christ, who gave himself to Death for us




An emperor, engaged in mortal war, was in imminent peril of death. A knight, perceiving his danger, placed himself between the emperor and his enemies, and thus saved him from destruction. But in the attempt, the knight was grievously wounded; and not until after a tedious and dangerous illness, healed. The scars, however, remained, and gave occasion to many commendations upon the valour and loyalty which he had exhibited. It happened that the same knight was in danger of being defrauded of his inheritance. He went, therefore, to the emperor, and entreated that he would advise and assist him. "My good friend," replied the emperor, "I cannot attend to you at present; but I will appoint a judge who shall examine into your case, and do you every justice." "My lord," cried the other, "how can you say so?" And immediately tearing open his vesture, he exposed the scars left by his wounds. "See what I have borne for you—yet you will neither vindicate nor assist me! Is it not unjust, that after I have undergone so much, another should be deputed to judge and advocate my cause?" The emperor, hearing this, instantly replied, "My friend, you say true: when I was in peril, you, and not another preserved me." Then, ascending the tribunal, he gave judgment in his favour. (4)


My beloved, the knight is Christ, who received many wounds in our behalf. Let us not depute another to show our gratitude, but exert ourselves in the most earnest manner.



Note 4.Page 39.

We have here the well-known anecdote of Augustus Cæsar, and of the Roman soldier, who fought in the battle of Actium.