Whatever feelings of compassion he may have natu- rally, he is forced to thrust them aside. If he were too gentle, or too sensitive, or too merciful, he would be unfit for his trade. He must steel his heart to the inroads of pity. He must ply his task in a stern, relentless, mechanical way. To lock those chains, to bar that door, to shut out the face of heaven, perhaps for ever, on this victim, to drag out that other half- blinded once more into the light of day, only that he may lay his head on the block or stretch his limbs on the cross — this is the cruel routine of his daily life. What room is there here for sympathy, for love, for tenderness, for any of those humane emotions on which the Christian preacher reckons as his most powerful allies.^ The gaoler at Philippi is introduced to us first, 232 THE PHILTPPIA GAOLER. [xvii. performing his gaoler's task. Here are two new prisoners to be looked after. They are far more dangerous than the ordinary run of prisoners. They are disturbers of the public peace; they are. revo- lutionary agents; they are foreign emissaries; they would subvert the social and political institutions of the place. * These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city.' * They teach customs which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.' Accordingly they have been scourged first, and they have been cast into prison afterwards. Special injunctions are given to the gaoler. The prisoners must on no account be allowed to escape. He is not wanting on his part. He obeys his orders to the letter, and beyond the letter. He thrusts them into the inner dungeon, a dark underground vault, as would appear from the sequel. He is not content with this. He has made their feet fast in the stocks.