By Ida Pfeiffer

Translated from the German by way of H. W. Dulcken. [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]

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Sample text

A wooden railing forms the barrier between the healthy people and those who come from or intend travelling to a country infected with the plague. Whoever passes this line of demarcation is not allowed to return. Soldiers, officers, government officials, and superintendents, the latter of whom are armed with sticks and pairs of tongs, stand at the entrance to drive those forcibly back who will not be content with fair words. Provisions and other articles are either thrown over the barrier or left in front of it.

The audience sit round in a half-circle, and the narrator stands in the foreground, and quietly begins a tale from the Thousand and One Nights; but as he continues he becomes inspired, and at length roars and gesticulates like the veriest ranter among a company of strolling players. Sherbet is not drunk in all the coffee-houses; but every where we find stalls and booths where this cooling and delicious beverage is to be had. It is made from the juice of fruits, mixed with that of lemons and CHAPTER III.

It is customary to make a kind of contract with two or three Turks, who are pledged, in consideration of a trifling monthly stipend, to appear in the hour of danger, for the purpose of carrying the boxes and lending a helping hand wherever they can. It is safer by far to reckon on the honesty of the Turks than on that of the Christians and Greeks. Instances in which a Turk has appropriated any portion of the goods entrusted to his care are said to be of very rare occurrence. During the first nights of my stay I was alarmed at every noise, particularly when the watchman, who paraded the streets, happened to strike with his stick upon the stones.

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