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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 127

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Across the garden one looked at a medley of neigh-bouring buildings, partly Oriental, partly crumbling Gothic, which shone in the blue sky with a promise of perfect weather. Out of this loggia, besides various bedrooms, opened three large apartments, whose decorations were of some interest. One of them—the largest—had at one end a curious niche, which might once have held a statue of a saint or the Blessed Virgin. The walls of all three were wainscotted, and adorned with some carved mirrors, and the ceilings were mosaics of coloured geometrical spaces, reminding one somewhat of a pattern in a kaleidoscope grown dirty. The house had been entirely altered, as well as halved in size, since the days of its episcopal masters, and the history of these decorations could not be arrived at accurately. The niche may have been mediaeval, but the wains-cotting and the ceilings were Turkish ; and certain pieces of plaster-work — flowers and bows and ribands—evidently dated from the earlier part of the last century, when the taste of Paris not only governed Europe, but actually penetrated to this remote corner of the East. As we drove out of Nicosia the same feeling of freshness and primitive life saluted us which had made my expedition on the mule and the feather bed so invigorating ; but on quitting the carriage, where the road ended at Kythrea, we found our feet in every way preferable to the mule. The village, with its people, its watercourses, and its gardens, again 124 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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