THE CHILDHOOD OF JESUS
THE GOSPEL OF JAMES

Biographical Gospel of the Lord

- Chapter 101 -
Victor Aurelius Dexter Latii


 
J
OSEPH THEN went over to the girl who was still occupied with the Baby, tugged at her sleeve and said to her,
 
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'Listen, my beloved daughter, have you really not noticed who is here? Do look up for once and see!'
 
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At this the girl awakened from her ecstasy and beheld the glittering Cyrenius.
 
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Thereupon she was greatly startled and asked in a frightened tone of voice, 'Oh my dear father Joseph! Who is this so very brightly glittering man? What is he doing here? Where did he come from?'
 
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Joseph answered the girl, 'Oh do not be afraid, my daughter Tullia! See, that is the ever so good Cyrenius, a brother of the emperor and governor of Asia and a part of Africa.
 
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He will surely put your matter in the best order in Rome, for you have already become very dear to him at first glance.
 
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Now go over and request that he hear you, then put your whole life story before him and be assured that you will not have spoken to deaf ears!'
 
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But the girl objected, 'Oh my dear father, that I dare not do, for I know that such a lord examines with terrible strictness on such occasions, and if he finds out some point which cannot be proved, he promptly threatens one with death!
 
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Thus it happened to me in my poverty once before when such a lord also inquired of me from whence I came.
 
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When I faithfully told him everything, he demanded unquestionable proofs of me.
 
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But since I in my completely orphaned state and in my utmost poverty could not produce these for him, he ordered me to keep strictest silence and threatened me with death if I should ever speak any more about that to anyone.
 
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I therefore entreat you, do you also not betray me or I am surely lost!'
 
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At this Cyrenius, who had heard this low discussion, stepped over to Tullia and said to her,
 
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'Oh Tullia, do not fear him who truly wants to spare no effort to make you as happy as possible!
 
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Tell me nothing more than the name of your father, if you still remember it, and I will require no more.
 
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But fear nothing whatever, although your father's name is lost to you. You will be just as dear to me because you are now a daughter of this my greatest friend!'
 
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At this Tullia became a bit more confident and admitted to Cyrenius, 'Truly, if your gentle eye deceives me, then the whole world is a lie! So I will indeed tell you the name of my good father.
 
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See, his name was Victor Aurelius Dexter Latii - since you are a brother of the emperor, this name cannot be unknown to you.'
 
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When Cyrenius heard this name he was visibly stirred and said in a broken voice,
 
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'Oh Tullia, he was my mother's own brother! Yes, yes, of him I know that by his lawful wife he had a blind-born daughter whom he loved more than anything else!
 
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Oh how often I have envied him his good fortune which actually was a misfortune! But the blind Tullia was more to him than the whole world.
 
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Yes, I myself was quite in love with this Tullia when she was hardly four to five years old, and have often declared by myself: This one or no other shall someday be my real wife!
 
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And - O God - now I find this same heavenly Tullia here in the house of my heavenly, godly friend!
 
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O Lord, o Lord, that is too much reward at one time for a weak mortal and for the little that I, who am nothing before You, o Lord, did!' - Hereat Cyrenius, who had lost his strength, sank into a chair and only after a while regained his presence of mind to continue the conversation with Tullia.