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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 223

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tains, shining under a sky that gleamed like a single jewel—how should northern arches look out upon these ? And that marble cistern sunning itself opposite to the door of the refectory, what was that ? How came such an object here ? It was a Roman sarcophagus, florid with the sculptured festoons of paganism. The sunshine and shadow slept on the silent floor, and I slowly for some time paced to and fro, trying to fix in my mind the shifting meanings of the place, which were making my imagination flicker like mother-of-pearl. It all seemed unreal, and yet at the same time so real that, as I looked up at the tangled arching roofs, whose ribs sprang from their columns like the curved stamens of flowers, it seemed as if they would compel the life they once sheltered to return to them. At last it was time for me to go. I shouted for Scotty, who had considerately left me solitary. Where he had secreted himself I have no means of knowing ; but he appeared from somewhere, in response to my voice, with such promptness, that I seemed to have created him myself out of some block of masonry. The mules were brought to the gate, which the old man locked as we passed out ; and at a slow pace I rode away in the sunshine, and left the Abbey of Happy Peace behind me. Warmth and sunshine followed me all the way home again— an emblem of the hours through which I had just passed, and over which, though melancholy had cast a shadow, it had cast a shadow only like that of a 220 IN AN ENCHANTED ISLAND

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