Eothen By A. W. Kingslake

 -   The
earth in its length and its breadth and all the deep universe of
sky was steeped in light and - Page 290
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The Earth In Its Length And Its Breadth And All The Deep Universe Of Sky Was Steeped In Light And Heat.

On I rode through the fire, but long before evening came there were straining eyes that saw, and joyful voices that announced, the sight of Shaum Shereef - the "holy," the "blessed" Damascus.

But that which at last I reached with my longing eyes was not a speck in the horizon, gradually expanding to a group of roofs and walls, but a long, low line of blackest green, that ran right across in the distance from east to west. And this, as I approached, grew deeper, grew wavy in its outline. Soon forest trees shot up before my eyes, and robed their broad shoulders so freshly, that all the throngs of olives as they rose into view looked sad in their proper dimness. There were even now no houses to see, but only the minarets peered out from the midst of shade into the glowing sky, and bravely touched the sun. There seemed to be here no mere city, but rather a province wide and rich, that bounded the torrid waste.

Until about a year, or two years, before the time of my going there Damascus had kept up so much of the old bigot zeal against Christians, or rather, against Europeans, that no one dressed as a Frank could have dared to show himself in the streets; but the firmness and temper of Mr. Farren, who hoisted his flag in the city as consul-general for the district, had soon put an end to all intolerance of Englishmen.

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