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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1901 edition. Excerpt: ... XII AT about five miles from Antioch, up the course of the river Orontes, stood the celebrated wood of Daphne, consecrated to Apollo. Therein a temple had been built, where every year the praises of the Sun-god were celebrated. Julian, without saying anything of his intention, quitted Antioch at the break of day. He wished t* ascertain for himself whether the inhabitants remembered the ancient sacred feast. All along the road he mused of the solemnity, hoping to see lads and virgins going up the steps of the temple, clad in white as a symbol of purity and youth, the crowd of the faithful, the choirs, and the smoke of incense. The road was difficult; from the rocky Berean hills a gusty burning wind came down. The atmosphere was laden with the bitter smell of burnt wood, and thick with a bluish fog which spread itself over the deep gorge of Mount Kazia. Harassing dust filled eyes and throat, and crackled between the teeth of the traveller. The very sun through the smoky vapour seemed red and sickly. But hardly had the Emperor penetrated into the wood of Daphne than fragrant coolness surrounded him. It was difficult to believe that such a corner of Paradise could be found at a few paces from the scorching road. The wood was twenty-four stadia in circumference, and perpetual twilight reigned in its almost impenetrable alleys of gigantic laurels, planted centuries before. The Emperor was surprised at the solitariness of the wood--no worshippers, no victims, no incense, nor any preparation for the solemn feast-day. Thinking that the people must be assembled near the temple, he pushed on farther. At every step the wood became more lonely. It was as untroubled by any sound as an abandoned cemetery. Birds were few, the shadow of the laurel-grove...
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