How I Found Livingstone Travels, Notes on a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo by William Makepeace Thackeray


I took, by way of guide, a young fellow from Berlin, a journeyman
shoemaker, who had just been making a - Page 120
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I Took, By Way Of Guide, A Young Fellow From Berlin, A Journeyman Shoemaker, Who Had Just Been Making A

Tour in Syria, and who professed to speak both Arabic and Turkish quite fluently - which I thought he might have

Learned when he was a student at college, before he began his profession of shoemaking; but I found he only knew about three words of Turkish, which were produced on every occasion, as I walked under his guidance through the desolate streets of the noble old town. We went out upon the lines of fortification, through an ancient gate and guard-house, where once a chapel probably stood, and of which the roofs were richly carved and gilded. A ragged squad of Turkish soldiers lolled about the gate now; a couple of boys on a donkey; a grinning slave on a mule; a pair of women flapping along in yellow papooshes; a basket-maker sitting under an antique carved portal, and chanting or howling as he plaited his osiers: a peaceful well of water, at which knights' chargers had drunk, and at which the double-boyed donkey was now refreshing himself - would have made a pretty picture for a sentimental artist. As he sits, and endeavours to make a sketch of this plaintive little comedy, a shabby dignitary of the island comes clattering by on a thirty-shilling horse, and two or three of the ragged soldiers leave their pipes to salute him as he passes under the Gothic archway.

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