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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Pilgrims Of The Rhine - Chapter 13. The Tomb Of A Father Of Many Children
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The Pilgrims Of The Rhine - Chapter 13. The Tomb Of A Father Of Many Children Post by :ron2316 Category :Long Stories Author :Edward Bulwer-lytton Date :May 2012 Read :997

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The Pilgrims Of The Rhine - Chapter 13. The Tomb Of A Father Of Many Children

CHAPTER XIII. THE TOMB OF A FATHER OF MANY CHILDREN

THE feast being now ended, as well as the story, the fairies wound their way homeward by a different path, till at length a red steady light glowed through the long basaltic arches upon them, like the Demon Hunters' fires in the Forest of Pines.

The prince sobered in his pace. "You approach," said he, in a grave tone, "the greatest of our temples; you will witness the tomb of a mighty founder of our race!" An awe crept over the queen, in spite of herself. Tracking the fires in silence, they came to a vast space, in the midst of which was a long gray block of stone, such as the traveller finds amidst the dread silence of Egyptian Thebes.

And on this stone lay the gigantic figure of a man,--dead, but not death-like, for invisible spells had preserved the flesh and the long hair for untold ages; and beside him lay a rude instrument of music, and at his feet was a sword and a hunter's spear; and above, the rock wound, hollowed and roofless, to the upper air, and daylight came through, sickened and pale, beneath red fires that burned everlastingly around him, on such simple altars as belong to a savage race. But the place was not solitary, for many motionless but not lifeless shapes sat on large blocks of stone beside the tomb. There was the wizard, wrapped in his long black mantle, and his face covered with his hands; there was the uncouth and deformed dwarf, gibbering to himself; there sat the household elf; there glowered from a gloomy rent in the wall, with glittering eyes and shining scale, the enormous dragon of the North. An aged crone in rags, leaning on a staff, and gazing malignantly on the visitors, with bleared but fiery eyes, stood opposite the tomb of the gigantic dead. And now the fairies themselves completed the group! But all was dumb and unutterably silent,--the silence that floats over some antique city of the desert, when, for the first time for a hundred centuries, a living foot enters its desolate remains; the silence that belongs to the dust of eld,--deep, solemn, palpable, and sinking into the heart with a leaden and death-like weight. Even the English fairy spoke not; she held her breath, and gazing on the tomb, she saw, in rude vast characters,--

THE TEUTON.

"_We are all that remain of his religion!" said the prince, as they turned from the dread temple.

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