National Ruin by T. De Witt Talmage

NATIONAL RUIN
T. DeWitt Talmage

Rev., 18: 10: "Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that
mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come."

On cis-Atlantic shores a company of American
scientists are now landing, on their way to find the
tomb of a dead empire holding in its arms a dead city,
mother and child of the same name-Babylon. The
ancient mounds will invite the spades and shovels and
crowbars, while the unwashed natives look on in sur-
prise. Our scientific friends will find yellow bricks still
impressed with the name of Nebuchadnezzar, and they
will go down into the sarcophagus of a monarchy bur-
ied more than two thousand years ago. May the ex-
plorations of Rawlinson and Layard and Chevalier
and Opperto and Loftus and Chesney be eclipsed by
the present archaeological uncovering.

But is it possible that this is all that remains of
Babylon? A city once five times larger than London,
and twelve times larger than New York, Walls three
hundred and seventy-three feet high, and ninety-three
feet thick. Twenty-five burnished gates on each
side, with streets running clear through to corre-
sponding gates on the other side. Six hundred and
twenty-five squares. More pomp and wealth and
splendor and sin than could be found in any five mod-
ern cities combined. A city of palaces and temples.
A city having within it a garden on an artificial hill
four hundred feet high, the sides of the mountain ter-
raced. All this built to keep the king's wife, Amyitis,
from becoming homesick for the mountainous region
in which she had spent her girlhood. The waters of
the Euphrates spouted up to irrigate this great altitude
into fruits and flowers and arborescence unimagina-
ble. A great river running from north to south clear
through the city, bridges over it, tunnels under it,
boats on it. A city of bazaars and of market-places,
unrivaled for aromatics and unguents and high-mettled
horses, with grooms by their side, and thyme wood,
and ...


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