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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 208

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UNDER FROWNING WALLS 205 Such being the case, what first struck me with won-der was the utter absence of any sign of decay ; and then my mind was filled with the mass and the perfection of the masonry. The walls, from the ditch to their summit, were seventy feet in height, and from bastion to bastion their length was four hundred feet. In the whole expanse there was not a single window. It was perfectly blank except for one rib of moulding, for a multitude of loopholes pierced at the top for musketry, and for an ominous line of rare oblong apertures, with low arches like half-lifted eyelids, behind each of which a cannon once was vigilant. Besides these, there was but one other opening— a single narrow door not far from the sea, reached originally by a drawbridge, but now by an arch of stone. The English Government has used the castle as a prison ; I had therefore been obliged to provide myself with an order to visit it. This was inspected by a sentry, who was basking on the bridge ; and Scotty and I passed on into the building. The door admitted us to a dark vaulted passage, about twelve feet in height and perhaps of equal breadth. For the first twenty feet it was level, then it turned an angle and ascended for sixty feet by a gentle slope towards the light. Midway was a locked iron gate, by which sat a man whose face and whose European clothing plainly bespoke him some one of superior station. He asked me, in perfect English, if I wished to see the castle, and called a sentry, who promptly gave us.

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