"Hear, my master," he said: "'I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven. . . . And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.'--Believest thou the prophets, O my master?"
"It is enough. I believe," cried Ben-Hur.
"What then?" asked Simonides. "If the King come poor, will not my master, of his abundance, give him help?"
"Help him? To the last shekel and the last breath. But why speak of his coming poor?"
"Give me, Esther, the word of the Lord as it came to Zechariah," said Simonides.
"Hear how the King will enter Jerusalem." Then he read, "'Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. . . . Behold, thy King cometh unto thee with justice and salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.'"
"Rome!" he answered, gloomily--"Rome, and her legions. I have dwelt with them in their camps. I know them."
"Ah!" said Simonides. "Thou shalt be a master of legions for the King, with millions to choose from."