Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Sónnica   By: (1867-1928)

Sónnica by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez

First Page:

SÓNNICA

BY

VICENTE BLASCO IBÁÑEZ

Translated from the Spanish by FRANCES DOUGLAS

[Illustration]

NEW YORK DUFFIELD & COMPANY 1919

COPYRIGHT 1912 By DUFFIELD & COMPANY

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. AT APHRODITE'S TEMPLE 3

II. SAGUNTUM 45

III. DANCING GIRLS FROM GADES 95

IV. GREEK AND CELTIBERIAN 143

V. INVASION 174

VI. ASBYTE AND HANNIBAL 200

VII. THE WALLS OF SAGUNTUM 234

VIII. THE ROME OF FABIUS THE DELAYER 258

IX. THE HUNGRY CITY 285

X. THE LAST NIGHT 311

SÓNNICA

CHAPTER I

AT APHRODITE'S TEMPLE.

When the ship of Polyanthus, the Saguntine pilot, arrived off the port of his native land, the mariners and fishermen, their vision sharpened by ever watching the distant horizon, had already recognized his saffron dyed sail and the image of Victory, which, with extended wings, and holding a crown in her right hand, stretched along the prow until it dipped its feet in the waves.

"It is Polyanthus' ship! It is the Victoriata returning from Gades and New Carthage!"

To obtain a better view they rushed out upon the stone breakwater surrounding the three basins of the port of Saguntum, which were connected with the sea by a long canal.

The low marshy land, overgrown with reeds and tangled aquatic plants, extended as far as the Gulf of Sucro, which bounded the horizon by its curving blue belt, and over which the fishermen's smacks skimmed like dragon flies. The trireme slowly advanced. The colored sail fluttered in the breeze without filling, but the triple banks of oars, with rhythmic movement along its flanks caused the vessel to spring over the white foam lashing the entrance of the canal.

Night was falling. On the hill near the port the temple of Venus Aphrodite reflected from the polished surface of its pediment the fire of the setting sun. A golden atmosphere wrapped the columns and the blue marble walls, as if the father of day, before sinking to rest, were greeting the goddess of the waters with a kiss of light. The chain of dark mountains, covered with pines and shrubbery, swung around the sea in a gigantic semicircle, embracing the fertile valley in which lay the Saguntine gardens, the white villas, the rustic towers and the hamlets rising among the clustering green trees of the fields. At the other extreme of this mountain barrier, dimmed by the distance and the haze of the landscape, could be seen the city, the ancient Zacynthus, with its dwellings compressed within walls and citadels upon the fold of the hill. Far above was the Acropolis, with cyclopean ramparts above which rose the high roofed temples and public buildings.

The port was enlivened by the stir of labor. Two ships from Massilia were loading with wine in the big basin. One from Liburnia was taking on a cargo consisting of Saguntine pottery and dried figs, to be sold in Rome, while a galley from Carthage contained in its hold great bars of silver brought from the mines of Celtiberia. Other ships, with sails furled and their banks of oars fallen against their sides, swung at anchor near the wharf, like great sleeping birds gently nodding their prows with figureheads of crocodiles or of horses, used by the navy of Alexandria, or displaying on the stern a hideous red dwarf resembling that which decorated the vessel of the Phoenician Cadmus in his astounding voyages over many seas.

The slaves bending under the weight of amphoræ and silver ingots, wearing no other clothing than a loin cloth and a white hood, their fretted and sweating bodies bare, passed like an endless rosary along the boards leading from the mole to the ships, as they carried the merchandise from where it lay piled on the wharf into the concave holds of the vessels... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books