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and listen while your father Jacob speaks." Then told he to each of the brothers his condition and future, one after another, and when he had blessed his twelve sons he commanded them to bury him with his fathers in the sepulchre which Abraham bought in the land of Canaan. And when he had finished, he lay down and died.
When Joseph saw that his father was dead he fell on his face and kissed him. Then he commanded his servants, the physicians, that they should embalm his father's body with sweet spices, and decreed that there should be mourning for forty days.
When the wailing time was passed, Joseph told Pharaoh how he had sworn and promised to bury Jacob in the land of Canaan.
"Go and bury thy father as thou hast sworn," said Pharaoh.
So Joseph took his father's body, and accompanied by the aged men of Pharaoh's house and the noblest men of birth in all the land of Egypt, and the men of the house of Joseph also, went forth into Canaan. There were chariots, carts and horsemen, and a great gathering of people that came over the Jordan, where they mourned and wailed for seven days longer.
And the people of Canaan said, "This is a great sorrow to the Egyptians likewise." And the place is still called "The Wailing Place of Egypt."
When Jacob the father was buried, Joseph and all his fellowship returned into Egypt, where they had left their children and flocks and herds.
Then the brethren, after they had spoken together alone, fearing that Joseph would avenge the wrong that thev had done to him, came and said:
"Your father commanded us before he died that we should say this to you: 'We pray that you will forget and not remember the sin of your brothers, and the malice with which they treated you. Forgive for thy father's sake this great wickedness.'"
Joseph, hearing this, wept bitterly, and his brothers came and knelt low to the ground and worshipped him, saying, "We are your servants."
"Be you nothing afraid and dread you not. Think you that you can resist God's will? You thought to have done me evil, but God has turned it into good, and has exalted me as you see and know, so that He might save many people from death by famine. Be not afraid; I shall feed you and your children."
So he comforted them with many fair and friendly words.
So Joseph dwelt in the land of Egypt with the house of his father, and lived an hundred and ten years, and he saw the sons of Ephraim to the third generation.
After these things he said to his brethren, "After my death, God shall visit you and shall send you again from this land into the land that he promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When that time shall come, take my bones and carry them with you from this place and bury them in the land of Canaan."
So saying, Joseph died, and they embalmed his body with sweet spices and aromatics, and laid it in a sepulchre in Egypt till they should go forth into the land of Canaan.
This Story of Joseph has been taken from a translation of The Golden Legend. The tale has been simplified somewhat, and the language made a little more modern, but the quaintness and charm of the old narrative have not been destroyed.
The Golden Legend was written in the thirteenth century by Jacobus de Voragina, the Archbishop of Genoa. He used the Bible as the basis of his stories, but combined with the Bible narrative the many interesting legends that had grown up in the Church. In the fourteenth century The Golden Legend was translated into French, and from the latter version the English translation was in turn made. This was one of the books printed by the famous William Caxton, and for many, many years it was read in church in England, where its simple and graphic language created a lively interest in the stories of the Old Testament.
PRONUNCIATION OF PROPER NAMES
Note.—The pronunciation of difficult words is indicated by respelling them phonetically. N is used to indicate the French nasal sound; K the sound of ch in German; U the sound of the German ii, and French it; 6 the sound of 6 in foreign languages.
Abraham, a' bra ham
Agincourt, ah zhan koor'
Amherst, am' urst
Amorite, am' o rite
Arcadia, ar ha' di a
Asenath, as' e nath
Atalanta, at' a Ian' tah
Baucis, haw' sis
Bjornson, Bjohnstjerne, byorn' son, byorn' shur"
Don Quixote, don ke ho' tay, or don quix' oat