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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 110

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A BAZAAR OF TEE OLD WOBLD 107 primitive bales of goods ; and amongst these, being laden or unladen, groups of camels stood patiently in the sunlight, with red caps and turbans moving and glancing round them. At the end of this street, which seemed like a cul-de-sac, was a large fig tree having a Turkish tomb under its branches ; but passing round this we were faced by a covered passage, flickering with lights and shadows, which ran away into a wilderness of old stone buildings, and into and out of which, like ants at the entrance of their nest, men and women, with a sort of busy dilatoriness, were constantly coming and going. This was the entrance of the bazaar proper ; or rather one of the entrances, for the passage now before us was only one out of many. The bazaar was a spider's web of them. Externally the view was of no architectural interest ; but the moment one entered one was in a world of the curious and picturesque. This particu-lar passage or street happened to be that of the silversmiths. As I looked round me and began to realise the scene, I felt that we were back again at the beginnings of civilisation. The little shops were a succession of open rooms or cells, black with shadow through which the rude walls glimmered, and on the walls a shelf or two and some implements hanging by nails : and at the mouth of each cell, on a wooden stool, sat the proprietor industriously working at his craft, with a charcoal forge making a dim glow at his elbow. Some were fashioning

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Created at June 2008
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