“’Tis indeed a wondrous sight, your majesty. The reality far exceeds any reports that have come to us.”
“It is well, Remand, that we chose this slower mode of coming into the city. Electricity would have brought us here in a fraction of the time; but who would miss this beautiful drive?”
They were already within the outskirts of the city. Although all that day they had driven through a most beautiful region of cities and fields and gardens, the latter being gorgeous with flowers and fruit, yet the glory of this city far surpassed anything they had yet beheld. Over the smooth, paved roadway, their carriage glided noiselessly. The blooming flowers and trees shed sweet odors in the air. Buildings and gardens, arranged in perfect symmetry, delighted the eye. The song of birds and the hum of evening melodies charmed the ear. Men, women and children and vehicles of all kinds were continually passing.
The shades of night crept over the landscape; still the cloudy covering of the city glowed with brilliant light. The darker the night became, the brighter became the cloud, until the palace, built of marble and precious stone, appeared in its soft, clear light like the colors of the rainbow.
“Your majesty, must we not soon seek some place to rest for the night?”
“Yes, you are right. Do you think anyone will suspect our true character?”
“No one save ourselves, within thousands of miles, knows that you are the king of Poland.”
“I do hope so, Remand, for I wish to see these things from the point of view of a commoner. See, there is the pillar of fire spoken about. Truly, my good friend, the glory of the Lord is risen upon this place.”
Hardly were the words spoken before the carriage drew up to a gateway, or open arch, which spanned the road. A man appeared and inquired of the travelers where they were going. On being informed that they were strangers come to see the city, the man bade them wait a few minutes. Soon he returned.
“As you are strangers and wish to rest for the night, you will please alight and receive that which you need. Your horses will be taken care of. Come.” They drove along a road leading to a large house. Grooms took charge of the horses, and they themselves were ushered into a room, which, for convenience and beauty of finish, was not surpassed even by the king of Poland’s own palaces. Soon fruits and bread were placed before them, and they were shown couches where they would rest for the night.
Though weary with their day’s journey, the travelers could not sleep. The strangeness of it all bewildered them, and they talked about it far into the night.
Next morning they were awakened by song birds that had taken position in a tree near their open window, and were now pouring forth a chorus of welcome. How beautiful was the morning! Earth and sky were full of the perfume of flowers and the song of birds. The cloud still hung over the city.