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The Rise of Iskander by Earl of Beaconsfield Benjamin Disraeli
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by Benjamin Disraeli


The sun had set behind the mountains, and the rich plain of Athens was
suffused with the violet glow of a Grecian eye. A light breeze rose;
the olive-groves awoke from their noonday trance, and rustled with
returning animation, and the pennons of the Turkish squadron, that lay
at anchor in the harbour of Piraeus, twinkled in the lively air. From
one gate of the city the women came forth in procession to the
fountain; from another, a band of sumptuous horsemen sallied out, and
threw their wanton javelins in the invigorating sky, as they galloped
over the plain. The voice of birds, the buzz of beauteous insects, the
breath of fragrant flowers, the quivering note of the nightingale, the
pattering call of the grasshopper, and the perfume of the violet,
shrinking from the embrace of the twilight breeze, filled the purple
air with music and with odour.

A solitary being stood upon the towering crag of the Acropolis, amid
the ruins of the Temple of Minerva, and gazed upon the inspiring scene.
Around him rose the matchless memorials of antique art; immortal