8. to overthrow the evil purpose which was gone out against them, and to deliver them by extraordinary manifestation from that death which was in store for them.9. Their litany so earnest went up to heaven.10. Then Hermon, who had filled his merciless elephants with copious draughts of mingled wine and frankincense, came early to the palace to certify the kind thereof.11. He, however, who has sent his good creature sleep from all time by night or by day thus gratifying whom he wills, diffused a portion thereof now upon the king.12. By this sweet and profound influence of the Lord he was held fast, and thus his unjust purpose was quite frustrated, and his unflinching resolve greatly falsified.13. But the Jews, having escaped the hour which had been fixed, praised their holy God, and again prayed him who is easily reconciled to display the power of his powerful hand to the overweening Gentiles.14. The middle of the tenth hour had well nigh arrived, when the master- bidder, seeing the guests who were bidden collected, came and shook the king.15. He gained his attention with difficulty, and hinting that the mealtime was getting past, talked the matter over with him.16. The kind listened to this, and then turning aside to his potations, commanded the guests to sit down before him.17. This done, he asked them to enjoy themselves, and to indulge in mirth at this somewhat late hour of the banquet.18. Conversation grew on, and the king sent for Hermon, and enquired of him, with fierce denunciations, why the Jews had been allowed to outlive that day.19. Hermon explained that he had done his bidding over night; and in this he was confirmed by his friends.20. The king, then, with a barbarity exceeding that of Phalaris, said, That they might thank his sleep of that day. Lose no time, and get ready the elephants against tomorrow, as you did before, for the destruction of these accursed Jews.21. When the king said this, the company present were glad, and approved; and then each man went to his own home.22. Nor did they employ the night in sleep, so much as in contriving cruel mockeries for those deemed miserable.23. The morning cock had just crowed, and Hermon, having harnessed the brutes, was stimulating them in the great colonnade.24. The city crowds were collected together to see the hideous spectacle, and waited impatiently for the dawn.25. The Jews, breathless with momentary suspense, stretched forth their hands, and prayed the Greatest God, in mournful strains, again to help them speedily. 26. The sun's rays were not yet shed abroad, and the king was waiting for his friends, when Hermon came to him, calling him out, and saying, That his desires could now be realized.27. The king, receiving him, was astonished at his unwonted exit; and, overwhelmed with a spirit of oblivion about everything, enquired the object of this earnest preparation.