Chambers's New Reciter
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1901 Excerpt: ...the ground. Commodus stood like Fate, leaning forward to note the perfectness of his execution. His eyes blazed with the eager, heartless fire of triumph. Now here is the denouement. Even the most exacting modern critic could find nothing further to desire in the catastrophe of a tragedy. The fated lovers lay in awful agony, locked in the strong embrace of a deathless passion. No hand dared separate them; no lip dared whisper them a last farewell. The place might have been a vast tomb, for all the sign of life it contained. The circles of countless faces were like those of the dead. The two tigers lay in their blood where they had fallen, each with a broad-headed arrow through the spinal cord, at the point of its juncture with the brain. The emperor's aim had been absolutely accurate. Instant paralysis and quick death had followed his shots. But the crowning event of the occasion was revealed at the last. Pale and wild-eyed, their faces pinched and shrivelled, the youth and the maid started, with painful totterings and weak clutchings at the air, and writhed to their feet, where they stood staring at each other in a way to chill the blood of any observer. Then, as if attracted by some irresistible fascination, they turned their mute, sunken faces toward Commodus. What a look! Why did it not freeze him dead where he stood? 'Lead them out and set them free!' cried the emperor in a loud, heartless voice. 'Lead them out, and tell it everywhere that Commodus is the Incomparable Bowman!' And then, when all at once it was discovered that he had not hurt the lovers, but had merely cut in two with his arrows the cords that bound their wrists, a great stir began, and out from a myriad overjoyed and admiring hearts leaped a storm of thanks, while with clash and bray o...
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