Zenobia, Or, The Fall of Palmyra: A Historical Romance in Letters from L. Manlius Piso from Palmyra, to His Friend Marcus Curtius at Rome

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James Munroe, 1846 - Tadmur (Syria) - 288 pages
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Page 262 - But every where — in the streets — upon the porticos of private and public dwellings — upon the steps and within the very walls of the temples of every faith — in all places, the most sacred as well as the most common, lay the mangled carcasses of the wretched inhabitants. None, apparently, had been spared. The aged were there, with their bald or silvered heads — little children and infants — women, the young, the beautiful, the good — all were there, slaughtered in every imaginable...
Page 31 - Caesar was not more ambitious than Cicero. It was but in another way. All greatness is born of ambition. Let the ambition be a noble one, and who shall blame it? I confess I did once aspire to be queen, not only of Palmyra, but of the East. That I am. I now aspire to remain so. Is it not an honorable ambition ? Does it not become a descendant of the Ptolemies and of Cleopatra?
Page 259 - Sun stood long untouched, shining almost with the brightness of the sun itself, its polished shafts and sides reflecting the surrounding fire with an intense brilliancy. We hoped that it might escape, and were certain that it would, unless fired from within, — as from its insulated position the flames from the neighboring buildings could not reach it. But we watched not long ere from its western extremity the fire broke forth, and warned us that that peerless monument of human genius, like all...
Page 32 - The kingdoms already bound to us by the joint acts of ourself and the late royal Odenatus, we found discordant and at war. They are now united and at peace. One harmonious whole has grown out of hostile and sundered parts. At my hands they receive a common justice and equal benefits. The channels of their commerce have I opened, and dug them deep and sure. Prosperity and plenty are in all their borders. The streets of our capital bear testimony to the distant and various industry which here seeks...
Page 120 - Friend," said I, addressing him, " your march has not lost you your spirits, you can jest yet." " Truly I can ; if the power to do that were gone, then were all lost. A good jest in a time of misfortune is food and drink. It is strength to the arm, digestion to the stomach, courage to the heart. It is better than wisdom or wine. A prosperous man may afford to be melancholy, but if the miserable are so, they are worse than dead — but it is sure to kill them. Near me I had a comrade whose wit it...
Page 31 - I am charged with pride and ambition. The charge is true, and I glory in its truth. Who ever achieved any thing great in letters, arts, or arms, who was not ambitious ? Caesar was not more ambitious than Cicero. It was but in another way. All greatness is born of ambition. Let the ambition be a noble one, and who shall blame it?
Page 32 - I swear not that the Mediterranean shall hem me in upon the West, or Persia on the East. Longinus is right — I would that the world were mine. I feel within the will and the power to bless it, were it so.
Page 20 - I urged forward my steed, and in a moment the most wonderful prospect I ever beheld, — no, I cannot except even Rome, — burst upon my sight. Flanked by hills of considerable elevation on the East, the city filled the whole plain below as far as the eye could reach, both toward the North and toward the South. This immense plain was all one vast and boundless city. It seemed to me to be larger than Rome. Yet I knew very well that it could not be, — that it was not.
Page 31 - But why pause here ? Is so much ambition praiseworthy, and more criminal ? Is it fixed in nature that the limits of this empire should be Egypt on the one hand, the Hellespont and the Euxine on the other ? Were not Suez and Armenia more natural limits ? Or hath empire no natural limit, but is broad as the genius that can devise, and the power that can win ? Rome has the West.
Page 22 - But the overhanging and impenetrable foliage of a Syrian forest, shielding me from the fierce rays of a burning sun, soon reconciled me to my loss — more especially as I knew that in a short time we were to enter upon the sandy desert, which stretches from the Anti-Libanus almost to the very walls of Palmyra, Upon this boundless desert we now soon entered. The scene which it presented was more dismal than I can describe. A red moving sand...

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