The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 3

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Harper & Brothers, 1844 - Byzantine Empire

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Page 474 - A hundred lions were brought out, with a keeper to each lion. Among the other spectacles of rare and stupendous luxury was a tree of gold and silver spreading into eighteen large branches, on which, and on the lesser boughs, sat a variety of birds made of the same precious metals, as well as the leaves of the tree. While the machinery affected spontaneous motions, the several birds warbled their natural harmony. Through this scene of magnificence the Greek ambassador was led by the vizier to the...
Page 374 - Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius ; and the uniformity of a work denotes the hand of a single artist. From his earliest youth Mahomet was addicted to religious contemplation : each year, during the month of Ramadan, he withdrew from the world and from the arms of Cadijah : in the cave of Hera, three miles from Mecca...
Page 396 - At the conclusion of the life of Mahomet, it may perhaps be expected that 1 should balance his faults and virtues, that I should decide whether the title of enthusiast or impostor more properly belongs to that extraordinary man. Had I been intimately conversant with the son of Abdallah, the task would still be difficult, and the success uncertain: at the distance of twelve centuries, I darkly contemplate his shade through a cloud of religious incense...
Page 207 - Rome," which had reached, about the close of the sixth century, the lowest period of her depression. By the removal of the seat of empire, and the successive loss of the provinces, the sources of public and private opulence were exhausted : the lofty tree, under whose shade the nations of the earth had reposed, was deprived of its leaves and branches, and the sapless trunk was left to wither on the ground.
Page 357 - Roman emperor ; and these electors were the king of Bohemia, the duke of Saxony, the margrave of Brandenburg^, the count palatine of the Rhine, and the three archbishops of Mentz, of Trêves, ana of Cologne.
Page 415 - Chorasan to the first general who should enter that large and populous country, the kingdom of the ancient Bactrians. The condition was accepted; the prize was deserved; the standard of Mahomet was planted on the walls of Herat, Merou, and Balch; and the successful leader neither halted nor reposed till his foaming cavalry had tasted the waters of the Oxus.
Page 377 - Koran, according to himself or his disciples, is uncreated and eternal ; subsisting in the essence of the Deity, and inscribed with a pen of light on the table of his everlasting decrees. A paper copy, in a volume of silk and gems, was brought down to the lowest heaven by the angel Gabriel, who, under the Jewish economy, had indeed been despatched on the most important errands ; and this trusty messenger successively revealed the chapters and verses to the Arabian prophet.
Page 376 - O Mary, verily God sendeth thee good tidings, that thou shalt bear the Word, proceeding from himself; his name shall be Christ Jesus the son of Mary, honourable in this world and in the world to come, and one of those who approach near to the presence of God...
Page 375 - In the author of the universe his rational enthusiasm confessed and adored an infinite and eternal being, without form or place, without issue or similitude, present to our most secret thoughts, existing by the necessity of his own nature, and deriving from himself all moral and intellectual perfection.
Page 29 - ... could always inflict a mortal wound with a single stroke of their dagger. The dissolute youth of Constantinople adopted the blue livery of disorder ; the laws were silent, and the bonds of society were relaxed ; creditors were compelled to resign their obligations, judges to reverse their sentence, masters to enfranchise their slaves, fathers to supply the extravagance of their children ; noble matrons were prostituted to the lust of their servants ; beautiful boys were torn from the arms of...

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