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







 -   We made a rush at the first
open door, and passed comfortably under the heels of some horses
gathered under - Page 140
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We Made A Rush At The First Open Door, And Passed Comfortably Under The Heels Of Some Horses Gathered Under The Arched Court, And Up A Stone Staircase, Which Turned Out To Be That Of The Russian Consul's House.

His people welcomed us most cordially to his abode, and the ladies and the luggage (objects of our solicitude) were led up many stairs and across several terraces to a most comfortable little room, under a dome of its own, where the representative of Russia sat.

Women with brown faces and draggle-tailed coats and turbans, and wondering eyes, and no stays, and blue beads and gold coins hanging round their necks, came to gaze, as they passed, upon the fair neat Englishwomen. Blowsy black cooks puffing over fires and the strangest pots and pans on the terraces, children paddling about in long striped robes, interrupted their sports or labours to come and stare; and the consul, in his cool domed chamber, with a lattice overlooking the sea, with clean mats, and pictures of the Emperor, the Virgin, and St. George, received the strangers with smiling courtesies, regaling the ladies with pomegranates and sugar, the gentlemen with pipes of tobacco, whereof the fragrant tubes were three yards long.

The Russian amenities concluded, we left the ladies still under the comfortable cool dome of the Russian consulate, and went to see our own representative. The streets of the little town are neither agreeable to horse nor foot travellers. Many of the streets are mere flights of rough steps, leading abruptly into private houses: you pass under archways and passages numberless; a steep dirty labyrinth of stone-vaulted stables and sheds occupies the ground- floor of the habitations; and you pass from flat to flat of the terraces; at various irregular corners of which, little chambers, with little private domes, are erected, and the people live seemingly as much upon the terrace as in the room.

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