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







 -   But the dear creatures are
even more closely disguised than at Constantinople:  their bodies
are enveloped with a large black - Page 220
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But The Dear Creatures Are Even More Closely Disguised Than At Constantinople:

Their bodies are enveloped with a large black silk hood, like a cab-head; the fashion seemed to be

To spread their arms out, and give this covering all the amplitude of which it was capable, as they leered and ogled you from under their black masks with their big rolling eyes.

Everybody has big rolling eyes here (unless, to be sure, they lose one of ophthalmia). The Arab women are some of the noblest figures I have ever seen. The habit of carrying jars on the head always gives the figure grace and motion; and the dress the women wear certainly displays it to full advantage. I have brought a complete one home with me, at the service of any lady for a masqued ball. It consists of a coarse blue dress of calico, open in front, and fastened with a horn button. Three yards of blue stuff for a veil; on the top of the veil a jar to be balanced on the head; and a little black strip of silk to fall over the nose, and leave the beautiful eyes full liberty to roll and roam. But such a costume, not aided by any stays or any other article of dress whatever, can be worn only by a very good figure. I suspect it won't be borrowed for many balls next season.

The men, a tall, handsome, noble race, are treated like dogs. I shall never forget riding through the crowded bazaars, my interpreter, or laquais-de-place, ahead of me to clear the way - when he took his whip, and struck it over the shoulders of a man who could not or would not make way!

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