Eothen By A. W. Kingslake

































 -   Venice strains out from the steadfast land, and in old
times would send forth the chief of the State to - Page 30
Eothen By A. W. Kingslake - Page 30 of 325 - First - Home

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Venice Strains Out From The Steadfast Land, And In Old Times Would Send Forth The Chief Of The State To Woo And Wed The Reluctant Sea; But The Stormy Bride Of The Doge Is The Bowing Slave Of The Sultan.

She comes to his feet with the treasures of the world - she bears him from palace to palace - by

Some unfailing witchcraft she entices the breezes to follow her {5} and fan the pale cheek of her lord - she lifts his armed navies to the very gates of his garden - she watches the walls of his serai - she stifles the intrigues of his ministers - she quiets the scandals of his courts - she extinguishes his rivals, and hushes his naughty wives all one by one. So vast are the wonders of the deep!

All the while that I stayed at Constantinople the plague was prevailing, but not with any degree of violence. Its presence, however, lent a mysterious and exciting, though not very pleasant, interest to my first knowledge of a great Oriental city; it gave tone and colour to all I saw, and all I felt - a tone and a colour sombre enough, but true, and well befitting the dreary monuments of past power and splendour. With all that is most truly Oriental in its character the plague is associated; it dwells with the faithful in the holiest quarters of their city. The coats and the hats of Pera are held to be nearly as innocent of infection as they are ugly in shape and fashion; but the rich furs and the costly shawls, the broidered slippers and the gold-laden saddle-cloths, the fragrance of burning aloes and the rich aroma of patchouli - these are the signs that mark the familiar home of plague.

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