The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart (1901)/Chapter 31



(Solomon comes forward, wishing to obtain Wisdom as his Spouse.)

Now when I prepare to listen to what was to befall here, a great noise and tumult arises, and as all looked round, I also did thus. And I see, entering the palace, one clothed in bright splendour, bearing a crown and a golden sceptre, and a huge company followed him. All were afeard, and the eyes of all—mine also—were turned to him. Then approaching nearer, he declared that he had thus been honoured by the highest God of gods, that he could behold the world more freely than all who had come before him or would come after him, and more than this, that he would take Wisdom, the ruler of the world, for wife; therefore had he sought her.

(And he called himself Solomon, the King of the Israelite Nation, the most glorious one under Heaven. What was answered to him, and what he then again said.—Eccl. ii. 7.)

2. Then through Prudence, the chancellor of the queen, he received this reply, that Wisdom was the spouse of Christ Himself, and could not wed any other; but that if he Wished to find favour with her, this would not be refused to him. Then Solomon said: "Now will I strive to see what difference there is between wisdom and folly; for nothing pleaseth me that happens under the sun."

(The Pilgrim rejoices.)

3. Oh, how greatly I rejoiced, hearing that now at last—God be thanked!—I should obtain a guide and councillor different from those I had had before, one with whom I could dwell safely, with whose help I could examine everything, and whom, lastly, I could follow where he went. And I began to praise God within my mind.

(Solomon's Company.)

4. Now, Solomon had with him a vast company of servitors and friends, who came with him to behold Wisdom, this queen of the world. Among those around him there were honourable men of worthy habit, of whom I was told, on inquiring, that they were called patriarchs, prophets, apostles, confessors, and so forth. Further back amidst the crowd they showed me some of the philosophers—Socrates, Plato, Epictetus, Seneca, and others. They all sat down at both sides of the hall, and I did so also, with great expectation of what would befall.