Numbers to Nysê, Doto, and Nerine

Numbers (The Book of). An English translation of the Greek title of the fourth book of the Old Testament. It is called by Jews In the Wilderness. As the first six words are like those of Leviticus, the next three are taken instead. It tells us the number of persons in each of the twelve tribes, both at the beginning and at the end of their sojourn in the wilderness (chs. i.-iv. and xxvi.). It also tells us how the people were provided with food, and how they were punished for disobedience.

Leviticus begins, “And the Lord called unto Moses.” Numbers begins, “And the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness.

Numbers. The symbolism of the first thirteen numbers—

1 is that sacred Unity, before the world began;

2 is the mystic union of Christ both God and man;

3 is the Holy Trinity—a perfect Three-in-one;

4 are the evangelists of God’s incarnate Son;

5 are the wounds of Christ—in hands, and feet, and side;

6 the days when heaven was made, the earth, and all beside;

God rested on the 7th day, and so from work should we;

And 7 words the Saviour spake from the “accurséd tree.”

8 are the Beatitudes; the heavenly orders 9;

10 the commandments given to man, writ by the hand Divine;

11 were the faithful left, after the traitor’s fall;

12 was the college all complete; and 13 with St. Paul.

E. C. B.

Nûn, the fish on which the faithful feed in paradise. The lobes of its liver will suffice for 70,000 men. The ox provided for them is called Balâm.

Nun’s Priest’s Tale (The), the tale of the cock and the fox. One day, dan Russell, the fox, came into the poultry-yard, and told Master Chanteclere he could not resist the pleasure of hearing him sing, for his voice was so divinely ravishing. The cock, pleased with this flattery, shut his eyes, and began to crow most lustily; whereupon dan Russell seized him by the throat, and ran off with him. When they got to the wood, the cock said to the fox, “I would recommend you to eat me at once, for I think I can hear your pursuers.” “I am going to do so,” said the fox; but when he opened his mouth to reply, off flew the cock into a tree, and while the fox was deliberating how he might regain his prey, up came the farmer and his men with scythes, flails, and pitchforks, with which they despatched the fox without mercy.—Chaucer: Canterbury Tales (1388).

(This fable is one of those by Marie of France, called Don Coc and Don Werpil.)

The Second Nun’s Tale. This is the tale about Maxime and the martyrs Valirian and Tiburcê. The prefect ordered Maxime to put Valirian and Tiburcê to death, because they refused to worship the image of Jupiter; but Maxime showed kindness to the two Christians, took them home, became converted, and was baptized. When Valirian and Tiburcê were put to death, Maxime declared that he saw angels come and carry them

  By PanEris using Melati.

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