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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 198

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AT A QUEENS WINDOW 195 from the window, I examined the face of the rock. So broken and irregular was this that in many places the walls rested on arches flung across rifts and chasms. The masonry seemed like a chamois leap-ing from crag to crag, and the whole place for a moment or two was like one of those dreams which end with the sleeper falling from some frightful and unimaginable height. I felt that it must all give way and send me descending into space with it. By-and-by Mrs. St. John said meditatively, ' What a work it must have been to build this ! It is supposed that the stones were brought up on the backs of camels, and the workmen must most of them have been slaves.' As she said this a host of thoughts and images, which had been long latent in my mind, now made their shapes visible. I bethought me of the little I knew of the castle's history—that it was founded in the twilight of early Byzantine times ; that it was an ancient stronghold in the days of Isaac Comnenus ; that at his orders it surrendered to Bichard Cœur de Lion ; that since then, as its architecture plainly showed, it had been enlarged and embellished by the kings of the House of Lusignan ; and that finally the Venetians had, for strategical reasons, destroyed its strength by shatter-ing its towers with gunpowder. Then came thoughts of what a life, during the days of its glory, had been lived in it, what a strange, hybrid civilisation had blossomed here in mid-air. I seemed to see on the turrets the banners of Western chivalry, with the lions o2

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