fatigue till the darkness began to grow thinner, and I knew the sun was drawing nigh. A few minutes more, and I could discern, against the pale aurora, the wall-towers of a city—seemingly old as time itself. Then I looked down to get a sight of the brook.
It was gone. I had indeed for a long time noted its sound growing fainter, but at last had ceased to attend to it. I looked back : the grass in its course lay bent as it had flowed, and here and there glimmered a small pool. Toward the city, there was no trace of it. Near where I stood, the flow of its fountain must at least have paused !
Around the city were gardens, growing many sorts of vegetables, hardly one of which I recognised. I saw no water, no flowers, no sign of animals. The gardens came very near the walls, but were separated from them by huge heaps of gravel and refuse thrown from the battlements.
I went up to the nearest gate, and found it but half-closed, nowise secured, and without guard or sentinel. To judge by its hinges, it could not be farther opened or shut closer. Passing through, I looked down a long ancient street. It was utterly silent, and with scarce an indication in it of life present. Had I come upon a dead city ? I turned and went out again, toiled a long way over the dust-heaps, and crossed several roads, each leading up to a gate : I would not re-enter until some of the inhabitants should be stirring.
What was I there for ? what did I expect or hope to find ? what did I mean to do ?
I must see, if but once more, the woman I had brought to hfe ! I did not desire her society: she had waked in me frightful suspicions ; and friendship, not