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THE CITY OF PANDAPOLIS
for a secretary's office, were on the table. There were also a few more chairs, two or three couches of bronze, and several presses ranged round the walls. On the floor, in the vicinity of the fire, I was astonished to see crouching a number of large black dogs. They rose up, and glared at me savagely as I approached, but just as I expected to be torn to pieces, they lay down again quietly.
I walked up and down before that extraordinary fire, eyeing those dogs suspiciously. My reflections were indescribably painful. At last, tired of walking, I sat down in the easy chair, and remained contemplating both fire and dogs for, I suppose, an hour. For the time being I could think of nothing else. From a deep reverie I was aroused by the deafening sound of a bell—one stroke only, but its echoes resounded through the whole palace like the knell of doom. What was going to happen now? I became conscious that over my head there was an increasing light, far brighter than that of the lamp on the table. I looked up and saw descending another table, from which the light darted all round in rays of glory. That on which the writing materials were sunk into the ground at my feet, and the one from above became fixed in its place. On it were arranged a number of dishes of polished lead (evidently the precious metal of this wonderful city), containing tempting viands, and transparent vessels of wine of splendid colour. I gazed on these things with the greatest astonishment, but inwardly resolved to die sooner than touch any thing upon that table.In a few moments I heard the sound of a distant opening door, and saw a procession approaching that sent all the blood in my heart up to my brain in a tumultuous flood. A number of beautiful women advanced towards me, bearing on their shoulders a throne, over which was an orange canopy. Upon that throne there reclined a young