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“And death will mind my objections no more than you, Master Torrey,” said the old clerk, smiling rather grimly as Master Torrey ceased his pacing up and down the room and flung himself into a chair.
‘It will be a great feesh,’ said the old man, returning to his oars; and nothing more could I get out of him, but strange glances and an ominous nodding of the head. In spite of myself, I was infected with a measure of uneasiness; I turned also, and studied the wake. The water was still and transparent, but, out here in the middle of the bay, exceeding deep. For some time I could see naught; but at last it did seem to me as if something dark — a great fish, or perhaps only a shadow — followed studiously in the track of the moving coble. And then I remembered one of Rorie’s superstitions: how in a ferry in Morven, in some great, exterminating feud among the clans; a fish, the like of it unknown in all our waters, followed for some years the passage of the ferry-boat, until no man dared to make the crossing.
2.It is incontestable that Syria and the Pashalics on the confines of Upper Asia are of no real importance to the Sultan; and that the pride of this monarch would be the only sufferer by their loss. Desolation has reached such a point in the Ottoman Empire, that it is almost impossible to regenerate her, unless the branches of the tree, lopped of all those parts so eccentric by their position, are detached from it, and organised into independent states. Towards the North, Russia has pushed on her battalions as far as Erzeroum, but it will be found more difficult, to govern Armenia from St. Petersburg than from Constantinople. In politics, the calculation of distances is an important element. In the South of Asia, Egypt lays claim to Syria, and that part of Caramania situated between Mount Taurus and the sea—a territory in which she will find those resources she at present stands so much in need of, such as timber for shipbuilding, etc., a Christian population, among whom the seeds of European civilisation will be more easily implanted. She will thus form an empire that will one day become powerful, if not prematurely exhausted by that system of monopoly so rigorously put in force by her present ruler.>
He had always a remark just like that to make, and seldom another. As soon as he had brought a thing round to what it was not, he was satisfied. He was one of the best of men, and, in a certain sort of a way, one with the least to say for himself. I qualify it, because, besides being able to read and write like a Quarter-master, he had always one most excellent idea in his mind. That was, Duty. Upon my soul, I don’t believe, though I admire learning beyond everything, that he could have got a better idea out of all the books in the world, if he had learnt them every word, and been the cleverest of scholars.
I mentioned, just above, the valley of Louisiana. Of all extensive areas of natural loveliness, this is perhaps the most lovely. No fiction has approached it. The most gorgeous imagination might derive suggestions from its exuberant beauty. And beauty is, indeed, its sole character. It has little, or rather nothing, of the sublime. Gentle undulations of soil, interwreathed with fantastic crystallic streams, banked by flowery slopes, and backed by a forest vegetation, gigantic, glossy, multicoloured, sparkling with gay birds and burthened with perfume — these features make up, in the vale of Louisiana, the most voluptuous natural scenery upon earth.