Against the historical background of the days when the children of Israel were delivered from the bondage of Egypt, the author has sketched a romance of compelling charm. A biblical novel as great as any since “Ben Hur.”
r reproachfully, but the old woman smiled and drew her out into the open.
Without, Israel of Pa-Ramesu made ready to surrender a tenth of her number to the newest task laid on it by the Pharaoh. Quarrying was unusual labor for an Israelite and the name carried terror with it. Long had it meant heavy punishment for the malefactor and now was the Hebrew to take up its bitter life. The hard form of oppression following so closely upon the promise of liberty by Moses had diversified effects upon the camp. There was rebellion among the optimists, and the less hopeful spirits were crushed. There was the scoffer, who exasperates; the enthusiast, the over-buoyant, who could point out favorable omens even in this bitter affliction; and it could not be divined which of these troubled the people more. But whatever the individual temper, the entire camp was overhung with distress.
Israel had gathered in families before her tents--the mothers hovering their broods, the fathers tramping uneasily about them. I