Salammbo

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Books LLC, Reference Series, 2010 - Fiction - 188 pages
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Excerpt: ... into the distance, but no voice replied. That very morning he had left Hippo-Zarytus with his soldiers to march upon Carthage. At Utica the army under Spendius had just set out, and the inhabitants were beginning to fire the engines. All had fought desperately. But, the tumult which was going on in the direction of the bridge increasing in an incomprehensible fashion, Matho had struck across the mountain by the shortest road, and as the Barbarians were fleeing over the plain he had encountered nobody. Facing him were little pyramidal masses rearing themselves in the shade, and on this side of the river and closer to him were motionless lights on the surface of the ground. In fact the Carthaginians had fallen back behind the bridge, and to deceive the Barbarians the Suffet had stationed numerous posts upon the other bank. Matho, still advancing, thought that he could distinguish Punic engines, for horses' heads which did not stir appeared in the air fixed upon the tops of piles of staves which could not be seen; and further off he could hear a great clamour, a noise of songs, and clashing of cups. Then, not knowing where he was nor how to find Spendius, assailed with anguish, scared, and lost in the darkness, he returned more impetuously by the same road. The dawn as growing grey when from the top of the mountain he perceived the town with the carcases of the engines blackened by the flames and looking like giant skeletons leaning against the walls. All was peaceful amid extraordinary silence and heaviness. Among his soldiers on the verge of the tents men were sleeping nearly naked, each upon his back, or with his forehead against his arm which was supported by his cuirass. Some were unwinding bloodstained bandages from their legs. Those who were doomed to die rolled their heads about gently; others dragged themselves along and brought them drink. The sentries walked up and down along the narrow paths in order to warm themselves, or stood in a...

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About the author (2010)

Born in the town of Rouen, in northern France, in 1821, Gustave Flaubert was sent to study law in Paris at the age of 18. After only three years, his career was interrupted and he retired to live with his widowed mother in their family home at Croisset, on the banks of the Seine River. Supported by a private income, he devoted himself to his writing. Flaubert traveled with writer Maxime du Camp from November 1849 to April 1851 to North Africa, Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. When he returned he began Madame Bovary, which appeared first in the Revue in 1856 and in book form the next year. The realistic depiction of adultery was condemned as immoral and Flaubert was prosecuted, but escaped conviction. Other major works include Salammbo (1862), Sentimental Education (1869), and The Temptation of Saint Antony (1874). His long novel Bouvard et Pecuchet was unfinished at his death in 1880. After his death, Flaubert's fame and reputation grew steadily, strengthened by the publication of his unfinished novel in 1881 and the many volumes of his correspondence.

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