By Benjamin Disraeli
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A straggling olive-tree occasionally appeared, and then a group, and soon the groups swelled into a grove. His way wound through the grateful and unaccustomed shade. He emerged from the grove, and found that he had proceeded down more than half the side of the mountain. It ended precipitously in a dark and narrow ravine, formed on the other side by an opposite mountain, the lofty steep of which was crested by a city gently rising on a gradual slope. Nothing could be conceived more barren, wild, and terrible than the surrounding scenery, unillumined by a single trace of culture.
The men are shut up there,' said the Princess with a smile, 'are they not? ' 'You will always do what you like,' said Honain, rising. ' said the Princess, with a melancholy air. 'You are the only person who has an idea in all Bagdad, and you leave me. A miserable lot is mine, to feel everything, and be nothing. These books and flowers, these sweet birds, and this fair gazelle: ah! poets may feign as they please, but how cheerfully would I resign all these elegant consolations of a captive life for one hour of freedom!
The sleeping bandits. He was not in strictness a prisoner; but who could trust to the caprice of these lawless men? To-morrow might find him their slave, or their companion in some marauding expedition, which might make him almost retrace his steps to the Caucasus, or to Hamadan. The temptation to ensure his freedom was irresistible. He clambered up the ruined wall, descended into the intricate windings that led to the Ionic fane, that served him as a beacon, hurried through the silent and starry streets, gained the great portal, and rushed once more into the desert.