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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 121

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On occasions such as these to breathe was like drink-ing an elixir in which imagination and memory had both dissolved their pearls. It quickened every appetite for sensuous (not sensual) pleasure. The blue of the sky seemed to enter into one's \-eins ; even the crisp shadows in the cracks of the walls or the columns seemed to be things of beauty ; and one longed to do what the Devil says no man ever does—to say to the passing moment, ' Stay ! thou art so fair.' But this is only one memory out of many. How many fresh houses every day did I pass whose antique doors gave glimpses of green and black shadow, of glossy foliage, and blue, blinding sky ! What variety of detail in each of these luminous pictures—cloisters, clambering stairs, running conduits, and vessels of beaten brass ! And what changing pictures, dissolved as soon as formed, in the streets ! The brown brigand-like shepherd, with the breath about him of the plains and of the mountains; the old majestic Turk, with his long robes trimmed with fur; the lean Greek priest, with his unshorn, dangling hair, followed by a bevy of boys with garlands for some saint's shrine ; buxom Armenian ladies, with bursting velvet bodices and heart-shaped silver buckles ; the muleteer on his mule, with his long lance-like goad ; and again, strangest of all, the gliding Turkish women, veiled from head to foot in their flowing yashmaks, which were drawn in at the back so as to show the outlines of the hips, some of them white, and others of silk coloured brilliantly—the meetings, the passings, the 118 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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