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THE D E S A R t

The tirefome famenefs, both of our road and manner of travelling, was now
and then a little relieved by our Arab horfemen, who engaged in mock fights
with each other for our entertainment, and fhewed a furpriiing firmnefs of feat,
and dexterity in the management of their horfes. When the buiinefs of the day
was over, coffee and a pipe of tobacco made their higheft luxury, and while
they indulged in this, fitting in a circle, one of the company entertained the reft
with a fbng or ftory, the fubjecl: love, or war, and the composition fometimes
extemporary.

In nine hours from Carietein we came to a ruined tower, on which we obferved,
in two or three places, the Maltefe crofs. Near it are the ruins of a very rich
building, as appeared by a white marble door-cafe, which is the only part (land-
ing and not covered with fand: its proportions and ornaments are exactly the
fame with thofe of plate XLVIII. At midnight we ftopt two hours for refrefh-
ment, and the fourteenth about noon we arrived at the end of the plain, where
the hills to our right and left feemed to meet. We found between thofe hills a
vale through which an aqueduct (now ruined) formerly conveyed water to Pal-
myra.

In this vale, to our right and left, were feveral fquare towers of a considerable
height, which upon a nearer approach we found were the fepulchres of the an-
tient Palmyrenes. We had fcarce pafTed thefe venerable monuments, when the
hills opening difcovered to us, all at once, the greateft quantity of ruins we had
ever feen, all of white marble, and beyond them towards the Euphrates a flat
wafte, as far as the eye could reach, without any object which (hewed either life
or motion. It is fcarce poftible to imagine any thing more (biking than this
view: So great a number of Corinthian pillars, mixed with fo little wall or
folid building, afforded a molt romantic variety of profpecl:. But the follow-
ing plate will convey a jufter idea of it than any defcription.

In the following work we not only give the meafures of the architecture, but
alfo the views of the ruins from which they are taken, as the mod diftincl, as
well as the mod fatisfa&ory method. For as the firft gives an idea of the build-
ing, when it was entire, fo the laft (hews its prefent (rate of decay, and (which
is molt important) what authority there is for our meafures.

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