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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 199

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of the Lusignans and the sign of the Cross undu-lating on them, and then at the windows the flicker of silken Asian curtains. I had visions of Christian ladies going softly in a heathenish splendour, which the Europe of that day would have hardly credited ; of knights in velvet doublets or flashing armour ; of priests and princely bishops. Here from a chapel floated a scent of incense, there from a balcony came the sound of a tender lute and a love song in mediaeval French ; and mixing with all these images were others of an alien kind—strange dusky forms in Oriental habiliments, some waiting like genii to do the bidding of their masters in court, in antichamber, or on staircase, others leading up the mountain pathways winding trains of camels. Finally my thoughts came winging to the spot where I myself was seated, and busied themselves with the dim forgotten queens, who from the very seat I occupied, and out of that very window, must have often gazed down into the stupendous depths below. The view was towards the sea, and beyond the lilac waters there were my friends the mountains of Asia Minor, which each time I looked at them had maddened my imagination. Framed in this Gothic window, cut by their Christian mullions, they seemed to me now to assume a new aspect. They were like the pagan world seen through the eyes of the Middle Ages and heard with its ears ; and mixing with its litanies, psalms, and knightly love-songs came wafted across the waves the pipings of Pan and Marsyas. 196 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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