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With the hot weather came the news that Shaibaq Khan was coming up into Ura-Tyube. Consequently, as the land is level about Dikhkat, we crossed the Ab-burdan pass into the Matcha hill-country. Ab-burdan is the last village of Matcha; just below it a spring sends its water down (to the Zarafshan); the area above the stream is part of Matcha; below it a dependency of Palghar. There is a tomb at the spring. I had a rock at the side of the spring shaped and these three couplets inscribed on it:
I have heard that Jamshid, the magnificent,
Inscribed on a rock at a spring.
Many men like us have taken breath at this spring,
And have passed away in the twinkling of an eye;
We took the world by courage and might,
But we could not take it with us to the grave.
–Z?hir ud-D?n Mu?ammad Babur (???? ???? ????), Baburnama (???? ????) bk ix (ca. 1530)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”