Henry Clay had a great reputation as a speaker; but when the youth had through years practiced extemporaneous speech in the cornfields of Kentucky, he went on to train himself in language, in thought, in posture, in gesture, until his hand could wield the scepter, or beckon in sweet persuasion, until his eye could look upon his enemies and pierce them, or beam upon his friends and call down upon them all the fruits of peace and success.
He was bending forward with outstretched scepter, in attitude of command; his face expressed horror and disgust, yet there was in it also the mark of imperious command and confident power. The left half of the picture was the strangest, however. The interest plainly centered there.
Around her feet trailed the purple of her garments, while in her hand was her golden scepter. Everything was at full tide. It seemed as if nothing could grow lovelier, and it was all standing still a few weeks, waiting coming destruction. The swamp was palpitant with life. Every pair of birds that had flocked to it in the spring was now multiplied by from two to ten.
And the father and mother, Asher and Virginia Aydelot, who, through labor and loneliness and hopes long deferred, won a desert to fruitfulness, a wilderness to beauty these two, in the zenith of their days, have proved their service not in vain, for that they have also won the second generation back to the kingdom whose scepter is the hoe.
Think of being abandoned by the Church! that August Power in whose hands is lodged the fate of the human race; whose scepter stretches beyond the furthest constellation that twinkles in the sky; whose authority is over millions that live and over the billions that wait trembling in purgatory for ransom or doom; whose smile opens the gates of heaven to you, whose frown delivers you to the fires of everlasting hell; a Power whose dominion overshadows and belittles the pomps and shows of a village.
When Louis presented Jusseret to the Countess Astaride there flashed between the woman of audacious imagination and the master of intrigue a message of kinship. The Frenchman bent low over her hand. "That hand, Madame," he had whispered, "was made to wield a scepter."
Horne, in his Introduction to the Study of the Bible, says: "By symbols we mean certain representative marks, rather than express pictures; or, if pictures, such as were at the time characters, and besides presenting to the eye the resemblance of a particular object, suggested a general idea to the mind, as when a horn was made to denote strength, an eye and scepter, majesty, and in numberless such instances, where the picture was not drawn to express merely the thing itself, but something else, which was or was conceived to be, analogous to it."
Then they cried to Christ, as they went off to the palace of Herod, "One hour sooner or later, what matters it? Thou must come to die, and this very day!" King Herod stood beside his throne, arrayed in scarlet robes, wearing a golden crown upon his head, and holding a golden scepter in his hand. On either side were his courtiers. He said unto them, "What! have they the famous man from Nazareth?
By the Concordat of Worms in 1122, it was agreed that investiture should take place in the presence of the emperor or of his deputies; that the emperor should first invest with the scepter, and then consecration should take place by the Church, with the bestowal of the ring and the staff. All holders of secular benefices were to perform feudal obligations.
That glittering bait, a crown, had lured him from his peaceful Osian hills and valleys, and now he found that his crown was of straw and his scepter a stick. He longed to turn back, for his heart lay in a tomb close to his castle keep, but the way back was closed. He had sold his birthright. So he permitted his ministers to rule his kingdom how they would, and gave himself up to dreams.