Page:Lands of the Saracen 1859.djvu/30

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20 THE LANDS OF THE SARACEN. we want. Certainly; but at their own price, for we are wholly at their mercy. However, we go down stairs, and the chief officer, who accompanies us, gets into a corner as we pass, and holds a stick before him to keep us off. He is now clean, but if his garments brush against ours, he is lost. The people we meet in the grounds step aside with great respect to let us pass, but if we offer them our hands, no one would dare to touch a finger's tip. Here is the gate : a double screen of wire, with an interval between, so that contact is impossible. There is a crowd of individuals outside, all anxious to execute commissions. Among them is the agent of the hotel, who proposes to fill our bare rooms with furniture, send us a servant and cook, and charge us the same as if we lodged with him. The bargain is closed at once, and he hurries off to make the arrangements. It is nov/ four o'clock, and the bracing air of the headland gives a terrible appetite to those of us who, hko me, have been sea- sick and fasting for forty-eight hours. But there is no food within the Quarantine except a patch of green wheat, and a well in the limestone rock. We two Americans join company with our room-mate, an Alexandrian of Italian parentage, who has come to Beyrout to be married, and make the tour of our territory. There is a path along the cliffs overhanging the sea, with glorious views of Lebanon, up to his snowy top, the pine- forests at his base, and the long cape whereon the city lies at full length, reposing beside the waves. The Mahommedans and Jews, in companies of ten (to save expense), are lodged in the smaller dwellings, where they have already aroused mil- lions of fleas from their state of torpid expectancy. Wo return, and take a survey of our companions in the pavilion : a