The importunate friend

For very often, without question, our prayers fail to move the Father, because they are not urged upon Him, nor are they upheld by that hopeful trust which knows no wavering. Jesus emphasized two points in this connection that we should grapple to our hearts.

Pray often and persistently Office Furniture.

As we have already learned, Jesus condemned long. {98} repetitious prayers. He despised also the hypocrite, and the hollow prayer of the hypocrite. But Jesus did not mean by such condemnation that we should not appear often before the persistently. Father, and press the case for which we are pleading. On the contrary, as you will readily see from the following parables, Jesus emphasized the importance of persistency in prayer.

"And (Jesus) said unto them. Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth dermes vs medilase."

The unrighteous judge.

"And (again) He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: and there was a widow in that city: and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for awhile: but afterward he said within himself. Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear {99} long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily."

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These parables speak sufficiently for themselves. The lesson that Jesus wanted to impart is clear. It is important that we persist in the prayer that we want urgently to be fulfilled. However, it was not Jesus's purpose to teach His disciples merely to repeat constantly an urgent prayer. Merely repeating a prayer is really of no more worth than uttering a long prayer full of repetitions. Jesus taught that Father gives His best and choicest gifts only to those who desire them intensely. We keep on praying for those things that we truly want, because the desire for them is urgent, intense and insistent; and we keep on keeping on.

Turning his head with warlike pride

He had once drawn a prize of ten thousand pesetas in the National Lottery, and the whole of this sum he had spent on a uniform suitable to his rank. The gossips of the suburb rushed to have a look at the Captain, dazzling in his gold embroideries, wearing a burnished metal[Pg 256] corselet, a helmet over which flowed a cascade of white feathers, and whose brilliant steel reflected all the light of the procession. It was the fantastic magnificence of a red skin; a princely dress, of which a drunken Auracanian might have dreamt. The women fingered the velvet kilt, admiring its embroideries of nails, hammers, thorns, in fact all the attributes of the Passion. His boots seemed trembling at every step from the flashing brilliancy of the spangles and paste jewels which covered them. Below the white plumes of the helmet, which seemed to make his dark Moorish colouring darker still, the gipsy's grey whiskers could be seen. This was not military. The Captain himself nobly admitted it. But he was returning to Paris, and something must be conceded to art

and fixing his eyes on the legionary eagle, he shouted:

"Attention! let no one leave the ranks! ... observe decency and discipline!"

The company advanced, marching slowly, stiffly and solemnly to the rubadub of the drum. In every street were many taverns, and before their doors stood boon companions, their hats well back, and their waistcoats open, who had lost count of the innumerable glasses they had drunk in commemoration of the Lord's death .

As they saw the imposing warrior come along they hailed him, holding up from afar glasses of fragrant amber-coloured wine. The Captain endeavoured to conceal his inward perturbation, turning his eyes away, and holding himself up even more rigidly inside his metal corselet. If only he had not been on duty!...

Some friends more pressing than the others, crossed the street to push the glass under the plumed helmet; but the incorruptible centurion drew back, presenting the point of his sword. Duty was duty. This year at all[Pg 257] events it should not be as other years, in which the company had fallen into disorder and disarray almost as soon as they had started.

The streets soon became real Ways of Bitterness for Captain Chivo. He was so hot in his armour, surely a little wine would not destroy discipline; so he accepted a glass, and then another, and soon the company were moving along with gaps in their ranks, strewing the way with stragglers, who stopped at every tavern they passed dermes hk.

The procession marched with traditional slowness, waiting hours at every crossway. It was only twelve at night, and la Macarena would not have to return home till twelve the following day; it took her longer to go through the streets of Seville than it took to go from Seville to Madrid.

This painful impression soon disappeared

The two mites stared religiously at the hero whose portraits they had so often seen on the prints which adorned the walls of their poor little home, a supernatural being whose exploits and wealth had been their chief admiration ever since they had begun to understand mundane matters reenex facial.

"Juanillo, kiss your Godfather's hand," and the younger of the two rubbed a red cheek against the torero's hand, a cheek newly polished by his mother in view of this visit.
On arriving in Seville he once more felt the influence of the pervading atmosphere. His friends surrounded him anxious to hear every detail of poor Chiripa's death. The professional toreros enquired about it in La Campana, recalling pitifully the little rascal with the scarred face who had run so many errands for them. Juan, fired by such marks of consideration, gave rein to his powerful imagination, and described how he had thrown himself on the bull when he saw his unlucky companion caught, how he had seized the brute by the tail, with other portentous exploits, in spite of which poor Chiripa had made his exit from this world ielts hk test date.

. He would be a torero and nothing but a torero; if others became that, why not he? He thought of the weevilled beans, and his mother's dry bread, of the abuse which each new pair of trousers drew on him, of hunger, the inseparable companion of so many of his expeditions. Besides he felt a vehement longing for all the enjoyments and luxuries of life, he looked with envy at the coaches and horses; he stood absorbed before the doorways of the great houses, through whose iron wickets he could see court-yards of oriental luxury, with arcades of Moorish tiles; floors of marble and murmuring fountains, which dropped a shower of pearls day and night over basins surrounded by green leaves. His fate was decided. He would kill bulls or die. He would be rich, so that the newspapers should speak of him, and people bow before him, even though it were at the cost of his life. He despised the inferior ranks of the torero. He saw the banderilleros who risked their lives, just like the masters of the profession, receive thirty duros only for each corrida, and, after a life of fatigues and gorings, with[Pg 75] no future for their old age but some wretched little shop started with their savings, or some employment at a slaughter-house. Many died in hospitals; the majority begged for charity from their younger companions. Nothing for him of banderilleros, or of spending many years in a cuadrilla, under the despotism of a master! He would kill bulls from the first and tread the sand of the Plazas as an espada at once.

The misfortune of poor Chiripa gave him a certain ascendancy among his companions, and he formed a cuadrilla, a ragged cuadrilla who tramped after him to the "capeas" in the villages. They respected him because he was the bravest and the best dressed. Several girls of loose life attracted by the manly beauty of the Zapaterin, who was now eighteen, and also by the prestige of his pig-tail, quarrelled among themselves in noisy rivalry, as to who should have the care of his comely person. Added to this, he now reckoned on a Godfather, an old patron and former magistrate, who had a weakness for smart young toreros, but whose intimacy with her son made Se?ora Angustias furious, and caused her to give vent to all the most obscene expressions she had learnt while she was at the Tobacco factory.