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On, Antares! The tribe is waiting for us, and the master is waiting! 'Tis done! 'tis done! Ha, ha! We have overthrown the proud. The hand that smote us is in the dust. Ours the glory! Ha, ha! steady! The work is done-soho! Rest!"
5. There had never been anything of the kind more simple; seldom anything so instantaneous.
At the moment chosen for the dash, Messala was moving in a circle round the goal. To pass him Ben-Hur had to cross the track, and good strategy required the movement to be in a forward direction-that is, on a like circle limited to the least possible increase. The thousands on the benches understood it all; they saw the signal giventhe magnificent response-the four close outside Messala's outer wheel-Ben-Hur's inner wheel behind the other's car; all this they saw. Then they heard a crash loud enough to send a thrill through the circus, and, quicker than thought, out over the course a spray of shining white and yellow flinders flew. Down on its right side toppled the bed of the Roman's chariot. There was a rebound as of the axle hitting the hard earth; another, and another; then the car went to pieces, and Messala, entangled in the reins, pitched forward headlong.
6. To increase the horror of the sight by making death certain, the Sidonian, who had the wall next behind, could not stop or turn out. Into the wreck full speed he drove; then over the Roman, and into the latter's four, all mad with fear. Presently, out of the turmoil, the fighting of horses, the resound of blows, the murky cloud of dust and sand, he crawled, in time to see the Corinthian and Byzantine go on down the course after Ben-Hur, who had not been an instant delayed.
7. The people arose, and leaped upon the benches, and
shouted and screamed. Those who looked that way caught glimpses of Messala, now under the trampling of the fours, now under the abandoned cars. He was still; they thought him dead; but far the greater number followed Ben-Hur in his career. They had not seen the cunning touch of the reins by which, turning a little to the left, he caught Messala's wheel with the iron-shod point of his axle, and crushed it; but they had seen the transformation of the man, and themselves felt the heat and glow of his spirit, the heroic resolution, the maddening energy of action with which, by look, word, and gesture, he so suddenly inspired his Arabs. And such running! It was rather the long leaping of lions in harness; but for the lumbering chariot, it seemed the four were flying. When the Byzantine and Corinthian were half-way down the course, BenHur turned the first goal.
And the race was won!
Atair (4), Rigel (4), Antares (4), and Aldebaran (4) are the names of the horses.
1. erěst; n. the highest part of a hill.
1. sǎg' ging; a. settling; sinking in the middle.
3. sil' hou ětte; n. the outlines of an object filled in with a black color; hence, a shadow. 3. couch'ant; a. lying down.
3. ănd' I ròns; ʼn utensils of brass or iron for supporting wood in a fireplace.
3. sim' mẽred; v. boiled gently. 5. elǎp' boards; n. narrow
boards thicker at one edge than at the other-used for covering the outside of houses.
A Winter's Night.
1. As night drew on, and, from the crest
We piled, with care, our nightly stack
And filled between, with curious art,
2. Shut in from all the world without,
We sat the clean-winged hearth about,
3. The house-dog, on his paws outspread,
And, close at hand, the basket stood
4. At last the great logs, crumbling low,
5. Within our beds awhile we heard