Eothen By A. W. Kingslake

 -   Again and again you meet turbans, and faces of men, but
they have nothing for you - no welcome - no wonder - Page 6
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Again And Again You Meet Turbans, And Faces Of Men, But They Have Nothing For You - No Welcome - No Wonder

- No wrath - no scorn - they look upon you as we do upon a December's fall of snow - as a "seasonable,

" Unaccountable, uncomfortable work of God, that may have been sent for some good purpose, to be revealed hereafter.

Some people had come down to meet us with an invitation from the Pasha, and we wound our way up to the castle. At the gates there were groups of soldiers, some smoking, and some lying flat like corpses upon the cool stones. We went through courts, ascended steps, passed along a corridor, and walked into an airy, whitewashed room, with an European clock at one end of it, and Moostapha Pasha at the other; the fine, old, bearded potentate looked very like Jove - like Jove, too, in the midst of his clouds, for the silvery fumes of the narghile {2} hung lightly circling round him.

The Pasha received us with the smooth, kind, gentle manner that belongs to well-bred Osmanlees; then he lightly clapped his hands, and instantly the sound filled all the lower end of the room with slaves; a syllable dropped from his lips which bowed all heads, and conjured away the attendants like ghosts (their coming and their going was thus swift and quiet, because their feet were bare, and they passed through no door, but only by the yielding folds of a purder). Soon the coffee-bearers appeared, every man carrying separately his tiny cup in a small metal stand; and presently to each of us there came a pipe-bearer, who first rested the bowl of the tchibouque at a measured distance on the floor, and then, on this axis, wheeled round the long cheery stick, and gracefully presented it on half-bended knee; already the well-kindled fire was glowing secure in the bowl, and so, when I pressed the amber up to mine, there was no coyness to conquer; the willing fume came up, and answered my slightest sigh, and followed softly every breath inspired, till it touched me with some faint sense and understanding of Asiatic contentment.

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