Caesar's Column eBook

Ignatius Donnelly
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 287 pages of information about Caesar's Column.
it seemed to me as if a voice pierced my heart, crying out through all its recesses, in strident tones, “How long, O Lord, how long?” And then I thought how thin a crust of earth separated all this splendor from that burning hell of misery beneath it.  And if the molten mass of horror should break its limitations and overflow the earth!  Already it seemed to me the planet trembled; I could hear the volcanic explosions; I could see the sordid flood of wrath and hunger pouring through these halls; cataracts of misery bursting through every door and window, and sweeping away all this splendor into never-ending blackness and ruin.  I stood still, lost in these engrossing reflections, when Rudolph touched me on the arm, and led the way through a great hall, covered with ancestral portraits, into a magnificent chamber.  In the center stood a large table, and around it about two score chairs, all made of dark tropical wood.  It was like the council chamber of some great government, with the throne of the king at one end.

“This,” said Rudolph, in a solemn whisper, “this is where they meet.  This is the real center of government of the American continent; all the rest is sham and form.  The men who meet here determine the condition of all the hundreds of millions who dwell on the great land revealed to the world by Columbus.  Here political parties, courts, juries, governors, legislatures, congresses, presidents are made and unmade; and from this spot they are controlled and directed in the discharge of their multiform functions.  The decrees formulated here are echoed by a hundred thousand newspapers, and many thousands of orators; and they are enforced by an uncountable army of soldiers, servants, tools, spies, and even assassins.  He who stands in the way of the men who assemble here perishes.  He who would oppose them takes his life in his hands.  You are, young man, as if I had led you to the center of the earth, and I had placed your hand upon the very pivot, the well-oiled axle, upon which, noiselessly, the whole great globe revolves, and from which the awful forces extend which hold it all together.”

I felt myself overawed.  It was as if mighty spirits even then inhabited that dusky and silent chamber; hostile and evil spirits of whom mankind were at once the subjects and the victims.  I followed Rudolph on tiptoe as he advanced to the end of the room.

“Here,” he said, entering through a wide arch “is a conservatory which is constantly kept supplied and renewed, from the hot-houses of the palace, with the most magnificent flowers.  The only humanizing trait the Prince seems to possess is an affection for flowers.  And he especially loves those strange Mexican and South American plants, the cactaceae, which unite the most exquisite flowers to the most grotesque and repulsive forms, covered with great spear-like spines, and which thrive only in barren lands, and on the poorest soil.  I have taken advantage of the presence of these plants

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Caesar's Column from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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