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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 145

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political life of the island. I had arrived, I believe from a study of 'Whitaker's Almanac,' at what Cardinal Newman would call a ' notional assent ' to the fact that Cyprus possessed an elected legislative council; but I never vividly realised before that evening that this council, to me hitherto merely the shadow of a name, implied all the horrors of a modern popular franchise. At first this discovery terribly shocked and disappointed me. I felt as if suddenly I had fallen out of the clouds to the ground. Good heavens ! I thought, and are all these enchanted creatures—these wild shepherds, these mysterious turbaned merchants, who move through an air that seems charged at once with wonder and simplicity— are they really nothing but modern voters in dis-guise, with beliefs in the people, in the vices of the governing classes, in the popular conscience, and in the mandates of the constituencies ? But, as I listened to my host a little longer, I found that my fears were needless. The blight of a constitution which was only inflicted on the islanders—I believe I speak correctly—as a sop to oixr English Badicals, has fallen on most of them like snow on a summer sea. With the exception of a small minority, drawn principally from the Greek shopkeepers, the glorious privilege of taking part in their own government touches them only as an occasional vague annoyance, which the moment it is over fades away from their consciousness. When the elections take place for the Legislative Council the difficulty is to persuade 142 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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