"Then the Church is dumb
to-day, as it was in the eighteenth century?"
And he who was wont to creep away in dumb shame, fearing the laughter of his fellows, sang now with such beauty and sweetness that they were all of one mind, saying that the Lord Himself had, of His heavenly grace, given to Caedmon this new power.
Perhaps he would walk about beneath the glowing stars or by the sounding sea, and thank God that he was no longer dumb, and that at last he could say forth all that before had been shut within his heart in an agony of silence.
'Was he deaf and dumb, woman?' asked the gentleman sternly.
'He was deaf, dumb, and blind, to all that was good and right, from his cradle.
How many of the girls and boys--ah, men and women too--that are brought before you and you don't pity, are deaf and dumb in their minds, and go wrong in that state, and are punished in that state, body and soul, while you gentlemen are quarrelling among yourselves whether they ought to learn this or that?
This Spaniard is not deaf and dumb
; you've let that slip without intending it; you can't cover that up now.
If she were not dumb
and could defend herself, her innocence would be proved.' But when the third child was taken away, and the Queen was again accused, and could not utter a word in her own defence, the King was obliged to give her over to the law, which decreed that she must be burnt to death.
The deaf man was the first to hear Robin, for he said, "Hark, brothers, I hear someone coming." And the blind man was the first to see him, for he said, "He is an honest man, brothers, and one of like craft to ourselves." Then the dumb man called to him in a great voice and said, "Welcome, brother; come and sit while there is still some of the feast left and a little Malmsey in the pottle." At this, the lame man, who had taken off his wooden leg and unstrapped his own leg, and was sitting with it stretched out upon the grass so as to rest it, made room for Robin among them.
"Marry," quoth Robin, laughing, and weighing the flask in his hands ere he drank, "methinks it is no more than seemly of you all to be glad to see me, seeing that I bring sight to the blind, speech to the dumb, hearing to the deaf, and such a lusty leg to a lame man.
It were much more seemly, methinks, if yon Dumb man, who hath a sweet voice, would give us a song."
no: but here thou beholdest even in a dumb
brute, the instinct of the knowledge of the demonism in the world.