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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 100

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' WEEEE IS FANCY BIìEDì' 97 it ; below me, catching the sunlight on some winding path, I saw the glimmer of some dainty feminine figure, and the charming movement of a bright Parisian para-sol ; and presently, still to the same eye of fancy, the statues and terraces of a Palladian villa revealed themselves. For any man rich enough to overcome the practical inconveniences of remoteness, what a winter paradise might be created in these solitudes ! Civilisation is never so charming as when it is an island in the middle of simplicity, or of a civilisation of an alien kind. A villa here might be filled, by raids on the opposite coast, with pillars, statues, and pavements from those old forgotten cities ; and slabs might feel again the touch of a woman's shoe, which have for two thousand years known only the movement of the snake or of the lizard. East and West, old and new, might meet here under porticoes and painted ceilings. And the life without ! On the slopes and mountains near, never a tourist, or a tourist's hotel, or an advertisement, or the sound or the knowledge of such a thing as a political meeting ; but only sun-burnt figures, in bright unfamiliar garments, with a strange language, living on strange beliefs, and making one feel as if the whole background of life were a child's holiday, or a back scene in an opera. Perhaps this too was a fancy ; but it certainly seemed to me that one's own life lived under such condi-tions would yield clearer music than it can do in modern Europe ; that all its chords would sound— at least whilst the conditions were new—as if there H

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