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It was in the sunny land of the East. The last rays of the setting sun were lingering on the massive domes that glistened in the dying light, and tipped with their golden lustre the tall minarets that stood like armed sentinels over the city of Damascus. The sky was robed in all the gorgeous beauty of its evening dress. The reflected glories of the sunlight were seen in the distant clouds, that rested in all their dream-like loveliness in the far horizon, glowing with the varied tints that in quick succession passed o'er them in all their shadowy beauty. It was a rich sunset in the fairest city of the East. Afar were the rocky hills that overlooked the plain of Damascus, and there lay the city in all its loveliness; encircled by gardens through which wandered sparkling streams, along whose banks winding paths now pursued their meandering course, or branched off among the thick woods with their green roofs and long waving draperies.
The stranger who looks for the first time on Damascus is almost overpowered by the novel beauty of the scenery.
All the treasures of this luxurious clime seem to be concentred in its vicinity, where, among the groves and gardens, the pleasure-seeking inhabitants, yielding to the gentle influences of the voluptuous climate, while away their time in indolence. And within the walls, there is much to draw the attention in the motley crowd that bustles through the narrow streets. Here sweeps along the lordly Turk, with his rich flowing robes and obsequious train, and there the Jew, in tattered dress, hurries on with quick step and keen calculating eye, concealing beneath the garb of poverty the possession of boundless wealth.
The dwelling houses present nothing attractive in their outward appearance, yet within, they are furnished with all the luxury and splendor of oriental taste. The mosques, adorned with all the gorgeous decorations of eastern magnificence, and the bazaars and shops, where are
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