CHAPTER XXXI

SOLOMON, WITH GREAT RETINUE, COMES TO THE PALACE OF WISDOM

SOLOMON STEPPED FORTH WISHING TO OBTAIN WISDOM FOR HIS SPOUSE. As I was getting ready to give attention to what might take place, there suddenly arose a great noise and tumult, and when all turned around, I also looked; and I saw a person entering the palace, radiant with splendor, with a crown on his head, a golden sceptre in his hand, and followed by such an immense retinue that the very sight almost struck terror in all observers. The eyes of all, as well as mine, turned upon him. He stepped forth and announced that he had been honored by the highest God of Gods that he might examine the world with more freedom than any who had ever been before him or were to come after him and he was to take Wisdom, the ruler of the world, for his wife; and therefore came to seek her. (The name of this man was Solomon, and he was the king of the most glorious nation under the sky, Israel.)

2 WHAT WAS THE ANSWER AND WHAT DID HE SAY, ECCL.1.17. Thereupon, he was answered through the Chancelloress Prudence, that Wisdom was the wife of God Himself and could not give herself to another; but if the king wished to enjoy her good will, it would not be denied him. "Permit me to seat myself here and observe the differene between wisdom and folly." Solomon requested, "for all that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me."

3 THE PILGRIM REJOICED. Hearing these words, Oh, how I rejoiced that at last, God willing, I should find a more reliable leader and adviser than I had hitherto. With him I hoped to be more secure and to be able to investigate all things more accurately, and I resolved that wherever he would go, I would follow; for this I began to praise God within myself.

4 SOLOMON'S COMPANY. Solomon was accompanied by a numerous retinue of servants and friends who came, along with him, to examine Wisdom, the Queen of the world; at his side were honorable men of a venerable and serious mien who, (when I asked them) were designated as patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and confessors. In the farther group I was shown some philosophers, such as Socrates, Plato, Epictetus, Seneca, and others. Then all this company seated itself along the walls and I also took my seat, eagerly awaiting what was to follow.

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