3i6 PICTURESQUE PALESTLNE.
they are drawn to land, and monks lose their strength in towns; let us return quickly to our
mountains, like fish to the water/'
The name of St. Paul the hermit is inseparably connected with St. Anthony's. Seventy
years had Anthony lived in the Thebaid, and the thought began to steal over him that no one
before had ever lived such a life of solitude and self-devotion. But in the night's silence he
heard a voice, " There is one holier than thou art, for Paul the hermit has served God in
solitude and penance for ninety years ! " On waking, Anthony determined to go and seek this
Paul. As he journeyed across the desert he met a creature, half man half horse—a centaur,
of whom he asked the way. Further on in a deep valley he met a satyr. The satyr bowed
before him and said, " I am one of those creatures who haunt the woods and fields, and who
are worshipped by the blind Gentiles as gods. But we are mortals, as thou knowest; and I
come to beseech thee to pray for me and my people to thy God, who is my God and the God
of all." When Anthony heard these words of the satyr the tears ran down his venerable
face, and he stretched out his hand towards Thebes and cried, " Such be your gods, 0 ye
pagans ! Woe unto you when such as these confess the name of Christ, whom ye, blind and
perverse generation, deny !" At length on the third day he reached a cavern overhung by
wild and savage rocks, with a palm near and a fountain trickling at its roots. There he found
the hermit Paul, to whom this cave had been a home for near ninety years. Paul would
hardly break his solitude to receive St. Anthony. At length he admitted him, and the two
aged men held long communion with each other beneath the shade of the palm-tree. While
they talked on the state of the world and of idolatry in the presence of Christianity, time was
forgotten. There came, however, a raven and alighted on the tree; then after a little while
the bird flew away—but to return, carrying in his beak a small loaf which he dropped between
them. Paul lifted up his eyes and blessed the goodness of God, and said, " For sixty years
every day hath this raven brought me half a loaf, but because thou art come, my brother, lo!
the portion is doubled, and we are fed as Elijah was in the wilderness." Then they ate, and
drank of the water of the fountain, and returned thanks. After this Paul said to Anthony,
" My brother, God hath sent thee here that thou mightest receive my last breath and bury
me. Go, return to thy dwelling, bring here the cloak which was given thee by that holy
bishop Athanasius, wrap me in it, and lay me in the earth." Anthony was amazed, for the
gift of this cloak some years before was unknown to every one. He could only do as Paul
begged him ; so kissing him he returned to his monastery. Arrived there he took down the
cloak and hastened on his way back, fearful lest in the meanwhile Paul might have died.
When he was three hours' journey from the cave he suddenly heard a sound of ravishing
music. Looking up he beheld the spirit of Paul, bright as a star and white as the driven
snow, carried up to heaven by the prophets and apostles and a company of angels, who were
singing hymns of triumph as they bore him through the air. When all had disappeared,
Anthony fell on his face and wept, and threw dust on his head, exclaiming, " Alas, Paul! alas,
my brother ! why hast thou left me ? . Why have I known thee so late, to lose thee so early.