Persons, Places and Things PDF ePub eBook

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Persons, Places and Things free pdf Excerpt from Persons, Places and Things: Embracing a Series of Stories of Adventure, Sketches of Travel and Descriptions of Places The "pink parasol by the Pyramids" probably shades as fair a face and as much of "true womanly" in form and heart as did the golden coif of Briseis- and its escort would promptly and gracefully pick up the glaive of Achilles or go with Jason wool-gathering to the Crimea - an exploit the latter, in fact, which Mr. Kinglake and his British readers think a mere bagatelle to the victory of Inkermann. But, for all tha., none of them will personify beauty and valor in the eyes of the poet and the painter of thirty centuries hence. They will sink, life and memory, into the mass of what the dyspeptic Carlyle calls seventeen millions of bores, and might as justly, had he chosen to extend the characterization to his own bailiwick, have called seventy millions. Is it that the disproportion between actualities and probabilities is so immense- that gifts and opportunities so seldom come together- that the conditions of the required result are so numerous and involved- that Nature, prodigal and wasteful in the moral and intellectual as in the physical semina rerum, refuses to innumerable individuals and long cycles of time their just and normal development, like the immeasurable majority of codfish eggs that never hatch? Or is it that a long list of special elements combines to give to this amphitheatre of the world an attracting and inspiring charm no other region will ever possess? Volumes have been, and volumes more might be, written on the features which make the Mediterranean a unique field for all human activities. Its axis running with latitude and not with longitude, its climate has still the entire range of the temperate zone. Alpine glaciers overhang its northern rim, while its southern waves lap the tawny sands of the Libyan desert. Its waters reflect the fir and the palm, the ibex and the camel. Tideless and landlocked- with a coastline, counting the islands, equal to that of the Atlantic- its sinuosities presenting harbors to every wind, often but a few hours', and rarely more than two days', sail apart- endowed with a wonderful variety of commodities of its own, besides those which drift to it by the Don from the Arctic plains, by the Nile from Capricorn, and by the Straits of Hercules from the Main, - it has from all time enjoyed the civilizing influence of commerce. To vessels which seldom lost sight of the stars by night, and could not be driven more than two or three days from land, the compass was not an essential. The three great voyages which have left us their logs - those of Ulysses, AEneas and Paul - were indeed circuitous enough, but from design mainly in the first two cases, while the apostle seems to have been unfortunate in his selection of skippers- and it is clear, from his own account, that they ascribed their extraordinarily bad luck to an equally unfortunate choice of a passenger. From a period undreamed of by Niebuhr or Deucalion - the close of the Glacial period, when the Lapp slid northward with the seal, leaving the hairy elephant to die in Italy, and determine, perhaps, the site of Rome by bequeathing his caput to the Capitol - this vestibule of three continents must have been the life-seat of the nations, the lungs of the globe. From north, east and south, peoples and languages struggled thither. They groped instinctively toward the daylight, as Russia yearns for Constantinople and Prussia for the Scheldt. They found, among the ever-blooming islands and peninsulas of that sunny sea, the seeds of the highest style of man. The insular spirit of mingled enterprise and independence fostered political liberty and free thought. A swarm of little empires sprang up, alike in blood, habits and traditions. Near enough to communicate, but not to be absorbed, their relations ran through an intricate dance of alliance and war, the two conditions equally tending to"

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Details Book

Author : Unknown Author
Publisher : Forgotten Books
Data Published : 27 September 2015
ISBN : 1330937074
EAN : 9781330937075
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 284 pages
Age + : 15 years
Language : English
Rating :

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