Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 1.djvu/36

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INTRODUCTION


had happened since the death of Sujah Dowiah, that man who with a savage heart had still great lines of character, and who with all his ferocity in war, had still with a cultivating hand preserved to his country the riches which it derived from benignant skies, and a prolific soil — if this stranger, ignorant of all that had happened in the short interval, and observing the wide and general devastation, and all the horrors of the scene — of plains unclothed and brown — of vegetation burnt up and extinguished — of villages depopulated and in ruin — of temples unroofed and perishing — of reservoirs broken down and dry — he would naturally inquire, What war had thus laid waste the fertile fields of this once beautiful and opulent country ? What civil dissensions have happened thus to tear asunder, and separate the happy societies that once possessed those villages? What religious rage had, with unholy violence, demolished those temples, and disturbed fervent, but unobtrudiug piety in the exercise of its duties ? What merciless enemy had thus spread the horrors of fire and sword? What severe visitation of Providence had thus dried up the mountains, and taken from the face of the earth every vestige of green?— or rather, what monsters had crawled over the country,

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