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south, and west. A large mart for the exchange of commodities would be established, and an important city would quickly arise. The choice of this spot by Solomon we may naturally consider founded on a policy of enriching himself by drawing the commerce of India through his dominions, from which commerce, probably he derived the wealth for which he is so celebrated. But Palmyra is as celebrated for its last monarch as for its first founder. It is the city of Solomon, it is also the city of Zenobia. All that is known of the origin of this celebrated woman is, that she was decended from the Ptolemies of Egypt, and that she boasted of having Cleopatra for an ancestress. Her beauty and enterprise all have heard of. Her complexion was a dark brown ; she had black sparkling eyes, of uncommon fire; her countenance was divinely animated ; her person graceful; her teeth white as pearls, and her voice clear and strong. If you add to this an uncommon strength, and consider her excessive military fatigues (forshe used no carriage, generally rode, and often marched on foot three or four miles
with her army); and if you, at the same time, suppose her haranguing her troops, which she used to do in her helmet, and often with her arms bare, you have a figure of masculine beauty which combines in one the divinest glories of Minerva and Venus. “Her manly understanding (says Gibbon) was strengthened and adorned by study. She was not ignorant of the Latin tongue, but possessed, in equal perfection, the Greek, the Syriac, and the Egyptian languages. She had drawn up for her own use, an epitome of Oriental history, and familiarly compared the beauties of Homer and Plato, under the tuition of the sublime Longinus.” This heroine conquered Syria and Mesopotamia, subdued Egypt, and added the greater part of Asia Minor to her dominions At last she was herself subdued by all-conquering Rome.
The first view of the ruins is described by all travellers as extremely magnificent. “When (says Bruce) we arrived at the top of the hill, there opened before us the most astonishing, stupendous sight that, perhaps, ever was presented to mortal eyes. The whole plain below, which was very extensive, was covered so thick with magnificent
ruins, that the one
enced, unearthly in appearance, and out of character with the general face of nature. “I have stood (says an American) before the Parthenon, and have almost worshipped that divine achievement of the immortal Phidias. I have been at Milan, at Ephesus, at Alexandria, at Antioch ; but in none of these renowned cities have I beheld anything that I can allow to approach, in united extent, grandeur,
and most consummate beauty,
this more than work of man.
On each side of this, the central point, there rose upward slender pyramids pointed
obelisks — domes of the most graceful proportions, columns, arches, and lofty towers - for number and for form, beyond my powerto describe. These buildings, as well as the walls of the city, being all either of white marble, or of some stone as white; and, being everywhere interspersed with multitudes of overshadowing palm-trees, perfectly filled and satis
sense of beauty, and made me feel, for the moment, as if in such a scene I should love to dwell, and there end my days."
THE TEMPLE OF THE SUN
is by far the most extensive ruin in Palmyra. The grand entrance (the Gate of the Sun,) was supported by four fluted Ionic pillars, and adorned with rich carvings of vine leaves and clusters of grapes, in bold and spirited relief, beautifully chiselled. Within the court are the remains of two rows of very noble marble pillars, 37 feet high. The temple was encompassed with another row of pillars, 50 feet high. On the eastern side of the area of the temple, there is a curious doorway of one solid block of stone, which commands a fine view of the desert. “As we looked out of this narrow gateway (says Addison), we fancied that Zenobia herself might have often stood at the same spot, anxiously surveying the operations of Aurelian and his blockading army. From hence the eye wanders over the level waste, across which the unfortunate queen fled on her swift dromedary to the Euphrates; and here, the morning after her departure, doubtless, congregated her anxious friends, to see if she was pursued in her flight; and from hence she was probably first descried, being brought back a captive and a prisoner, in the hands of the Roman horsemen."
Next to the temple, the most remarkable structure is the long portico, which extends for nearly 4000 feet. There is also a piazza 40 feet broad, and more than half a mile in length, inclosed with two rows of marble pillars 26 feet high, and eight or nine feet in compass. Of these there still remain 129; and, by a moderate computation, there could not originally have been less than 560. A little to the left, are the ruins of a stately building, which appears to have been a banqueting-house. It is built of better marble, and is finished with greater elegance than the piazza. The pillars that supported it were entire stones. One of them which has fallen down has received no injury! It measures 22 feet in length, and in compass eight feet, nine inches. “We sometimes find a palace (says Volney), of which nothing remains but the courts and walls; sometimes a temple, whose peristyle is half thrown down ; and now a portico, a gallery, or a triumphant arch. Here stand groups of columns, whose symmetry is destroyed by the fall of many of them ; these we see ranged in rows of such length, that, similar
to rows of trees, they deceive the sight, and assume the appearance of continued walls. On which side soever we look, the earth is strewed with vast stones, half buried with broken entablatures, damaged capitals, mutilated friezes, disfigured reliefs, effaced sculptures, violated tombs, and altars defiled with mud.”
Lo! where PALMYRA, 'mid her wasted plains,
MITTIE, THE BLIND CHILD.
BY MARY IRVING,
Did you ever thank God for your eyes, dear children ?those two bright, clear, happy eyes, that He has given to drink in the pleasant sunshine, the beauty of the flowers, the glory of the rainbow, and the sweetness of your dear mother's smile! Listen now to a story of a child to whom He never gave eyes to look upon any of these beautiful things.
It was on a sunshiny morning, somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, that a gentleman, whom sea-sickness had imprisoned in his state-room since the first roll of the ship, took courage, from a cup of coffee and the calmness of the sea, to crawl up on deck. As he stood at the head of the narrow stairway, clutching a rope to support his