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The Judge's Son

     Long, long ago a judge lived in Strassburg was generally looked up to on account of his stern impartiality. His son however was a thoughtless willful youth; he was fond of horses, and possessed a wild unbroken steed. In spite of his father's strict prohibition, he used to dash through the streets on its back, and his eyes glowed with pleasure when he perceived young and old flying from his path, and the maidens behind the windows would look admiringly at the bold rider.

     One day he was galloping as usual through a narrow street where a little child was quietly playing by the wayside. His horse's iron-shod hoof struck the helpless little one, and it was carried lifeless into its home.

     The youth's wicked pleasure was over in a moment, and he returned pale and distressed to his father. The bereaved parents at once accused the youth of the murder of their child.

     When the criminal was brought before the court, there was a great crowd present. The judge sat in his seat, deep sorrow and affliction depicted on his face . . . he was to sit in judgment upon his own son. The sentence was inexorable, it was to be death, and the judge announced it in a hollow voice. But a loud cry for mercy arose from the people, in which even the parents of the murdered child joined, and the wretched youth begged for his life on his knees. The righteous father remained unrelenting like the Roman Consul, Brutus, of whom we read, and pronounced the sentence of death upon his only child. Up to the present day the picture of this judge sitting on his judgment-seat is to be seen at the door of the bishop's palace, and a picture of the dead child is close by. At the tollhouse gate a painting of the youth galloping full speed on his wild horse, is still shown.

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