I will also describe unto thee those ear-rings and that coat of mail. Once on a time, O king, there appeared before Kuntibhoja a Brahmana of fierce energy and tall stature, bearing a beard and matted locks, and carrying a staff in his hand. And, he was agreeable to the eye and of faultless limbs, and seemed to blaze forth in splendour.
Anxious to learn something of a woman who filled so distinguished a position during the imperial dynasty, I questioned Madame de B , and learned that the Duchesse d'Abrantes, who for many years lived in a style of splendour that, even in the palmy days of her husband's prosperity, when, governor of Paris, he supported almost a regal establishment, excited the surprise, if not envy, of his contemporaries, is now reduced to so limited an income that many of the comforts, if not the necessaries of life, are denied her.
She continued her conversation with M. de Gondrand on the necessity of re-establishing the Church in its ancient splendour. And she talked brilliantly. The Church, she maintained, ought to be a temporal as well as a spiritual power, stating her case better than the Abbe had done, and regretting that the Chamber of Peers, unlike the English House of Lords, had no bench of bishops.
What cares he for worldly splendour, when in dreams he can summon up a fairy-land so gorgeous that in limning it even his own rainbow-dyed pencil fails? What need has he for home, to whom the wide world is full of treasures of study for which life itself is too short? And what to him are earthly and domestic ties?
In splendour they resembled fire. In battle they always inspired their foes with terror. Capable of assuming any form at will, in fleetness they resembled the very wind. Of inconceivable might and energy, their prowess also was inconceivable. "They have their abodes on trees and open spots and crossings of four roads. They live also in caves and crematoriums, mountains and springs.
Then as she made out that the features she thus scanned and associated were totally unaware of it, that they glowed only with the colour of quite other and not at all guessable thoughts, this directly added to their splendour, gave the girl the sharpest impression she had yet received of the uplifted, the unattainable plains of heaven, and yet at the same time caused her to thrill with a sense of the high company she did somehow keep.
That is the region of perfect beatitude, where decay never exists, the region, viz., that of the Creator and the Lord of Earth, so difficult of attainment. Indeed, I dwelt in various regions, adored by all the celestials, and possessed of prowess and splendour equal unto those of the celestials themselves.
We can only be assured that the revenue must have been immense, which arose from the accumulated contribution of such a number of nations, that had supported their own civil establishments with great splendour, and many of which were celebrated for their extraordinary riches and commerce.
The citizens, unaccustomed to splendour, were displeased with him for this, and their dislike was increased by his opposition to the law for a redistribution of the people.
For of this I am warned, that Doom draws on and my days are wellnigh sped. After the drawing forth of Antony from the Timonium came that time of heavy quiet which heralds the rising of the desert wind. Antony and Cleopatra once again gave themselves up to luxury, and night by night feasted in splendour at the palace.