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Khosrul may be loved and feared by a certain number of superstitious malcontents who look upon a madman as a sort of sacred wild animal, but the actual population of Al-Kyris, the people who are the blood, bone, and sinew of the city, these are not in favor of change either in religion, laws, manners, or customs.

"See.. See!" he exclaimed.. "Put up thy weapon! ... Thou shalt never need it where thou art summoned! ... Lo! how yon. blood-red letters blaze against the blue of heaven! ... There! ... there it comes! Read.. read! Fall Al-Kyris! ... Aye! ... the City of a thousand palaces shall fall to-night! ... TO-NIGHT! ... O night of desperate horror! ... and thou, O King, SHALT DIE!"

Therefore because Al-Kyris delighteth in pride and despiseth repentance, so shall destruction descend furiously upon her, even as a sudden tempest in the mid-watches of the night, she shall be swept away from the surface of the earth, ... wolves shall make their lair in her pleasant gardens, and the generations of men shall remember her no more! Oh ye kings, princes, and warriors!

Justice! ... justice for the innocent! ... Is there none in all Al-Kyris?" "None!" replied the old man who stood beside him, lamp in hand, fixing his dark, melancholy eyes upon him as he spoke "None! ... neither in Al-Kyris nor in any other great city on the peopled earth!

By my faith! ... when I heard the noise of quarrelsome contention jarring the sweetness of this nectarous noon, methought I was no longer in Al-Kyris, but rather in some western city of barbarians where music is but an unvalued name!"

Many strange suggestions began to glimmer ghost-like through this same Adagio, the fair, dead face of Niphrata flitted past him, as a wandering moonbeam flits athwart a cloud, then came flashing reflections of light and color, the bewildering dazzlement of Lysia's beauty shone before the eyes of his memory with a blinding lustre as of flame, . . the phantasmagoria of the city of Al-Kyris seemed to float in the air like a faintly discovered mirage ascending from the sea, again he saw its picturesque streets, its domes and bell-towers, its courts and gardens.. again he heard the dreamy melody of the dance that had followed the death of Nir-jalis, and saw the cruel Lysia's wondrous garden lying white in the radiance of the moon; anon he beheld the great Square, with its fallen Obelisk and the prostrate, lifeless form of the Prophet Khosrul.. and.. Oh, most sad and dear remembrance of all! ... the cherished Shadow of Himself, the brilliant, the joyous Sah-luma appeared to beckon him from the other side of some vast gulf of mist and darkness, with a smile that was sorrowful, yet persuasive; a smile that seemed to say "O friend, why hast thou left me as though I were a dead thing and unworthy of regard?

"Thou timid dove!" and Sah-luma, rising from his couch, kissed her neck lightly, thus causing a delicate flush of crimson to ripple through the whiteness of her skin "Think no more of such folly thou wilt anger me. That a doting graybeard like Khosrul should trouble the peace of Al-Kyris the Magnificent, ... by the gods the whole thing is absurd!

It was a singular spectacle enough; the lofty four-sided white pillar, that had so lately been a monumental glory of Al-Kyris, had split itself with the violence of its fall into two huge desolate-looking fragments, which now lay one on each side of the square, as though flung thither by a Titan's hand, the great lion had been hurled from its position and overturned like a toy, while the shield it had supported between its paws had entirely disappeared in minutely scattered atoms, . . the fountains had altogether ceased playing.

It had been sufficiently abused heretofore, he was glad to find it now so well appreciated, at least in Al-Kyris, though he had no intention of putting forward any claim to its authorship.

Nay, do not fear me, I am not mad: I am conscious of my life, my strength, and physical well-being, and though I may speak wildly, I harbor no ill-intent toward any man my quarrel is with God alone!" He paused, then resumed in calmer accents, "You judge rightly, reverend sir, I am a stranger in Al-Kyris.