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Herodias by Gustave Flaubert
page 2 of 52 (03%)
discernible in the light of the false dawn, although their bases,
extending to the abyss, were still plunged in darkness. A light mist
floated in the air; presently it lifted, and the shores of the Dead Sea
became visible. The sun, rising behind Machaerus, spread a rosy flush
over the sky, lighting up the stony shores, the hills, and the desert,
and illuming the distant mountains of Judea, rugged and grey in the
early dawn. En-gedi, the central point of the group, threw a deep black
shadow; Hebron, in the background, was round-topped like a dome; Eschol
had her pomegranates, Sorek her vineyards, Carmel her fields of sesame;
and the tower of Antonia, with its enormous cube, dominated Jerusalem.
The tetrarch turned his gaze from it to contemplate the palms of Jericho
on his right; and his thoughts dwelt upon other cities of his beloved
Galilee,--Capernaum, Endor, Nazareth, Tiberias--whither it might be he
would never return.

The Jordan wound its way through the arid plains that met his gaze;
white and glittering under the clear sky, it dazzled the eye like snow
in the rays of the sun.

The Dead Sea now looked like a sheet of lapis-lazuli; and at its
southern extremity, on the coast of Yemen, Antipas recognised clearly
what at first he had been able only dimly to perceive. Several tents
could now be plainly seen; men carrying spears were moving about among a
group of horses; and dying camp-fires shone faintly in the beams of the
rising sun.

This was a troop belonging to the sheikh of the Arabs, the daughter
of whom the tetrarch had repudiated in order to wed Herodias, already
married to one of his brothers, who lived in Italy but who had no
pretensions to power.
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