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Chapter II.—The Reason of Peter’s Lateness.

Then,11921192    [For the extensive variations in the plan of the two narratives from this point to the end, see footnote on Recognitions, viii. 1.  In the Recognitions the family of Clement are brought into greater prominence as disputants; in the Homilies Simon Magus, and Peter’s discourses against him, are the main features; both, however, preserve the dramatic element of the re-united family, though the details are given differently in the two narratives.—R.] at length, Peter seeing that the multitude had entered, sat down, and bidding us sit down beside him, he related first of all why he had sent us on before him after the baptism, and why he himself had been late in returning.11931193    [The old man is introduced at once in Recognitions, viii. 1, and the subsequent discussion takes place in the presence of Clement and many others.—R.]  He said that the following was the reason:  “At the time that you came up,”11941194    We have adopted an emendation of Wieseler’s.  The text has, “at the time that you went away.” he says, “an old man, a workman, entered along with you, concealing himself out of curiosity.  He had watched us before, as he himself afterwards confessed, in order to see what we were doing when we entered into the sheltered place, and then he came out secretly and followed us.  And coming up to me at a convenient place, and addressing me, he said, ‘For a long time I have been following you and wishing to talk with you, but I was afraid that you might be angry with me, as if I were instigated by curiosity; but now I shall tell you, if you please, what I think is the truth.’  And I replied, ‘Tell us what you think is good, and we shall approve your conduct, even should what you say not be really good, since with a good purpose you have been anxious to state what you deem to be good.’


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