The Near East: Dalmatia, Greece and Constantinople

Robert Hichens The Near East: Dalmatia, Greece and Constantinople
Robert Hichens
Project Gutenberg
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Miramar faded across the pale waters of the Adriatic, which lay like a dream at the foot of the hills where Triest seemed sleeping, all its activities stilled at the summons of peace. Beneath its tower the orange-colored sail of a fishing-boat caught the sunlight, and gleamed like some precious fabric, then faded, too, as the ship moved onward to the forgotten region of rocks and islands, of long, gray mountains, of little cities and ancient fortresses, of dim old churches, from whose campanile the medieval voices of bells ring out the angelus to a people still happily primitive, still unashamed to be picturesque. By the way of the sea we journeyed to a capital where no carriages roll through the narrow streets, where there is not a railway-station, where the citizens are content to go on foot about their business, and where three quarters of the blessings of civilization are blessedly unknown. We had still to touch at Pola, in whose great harbor the dull-green war-ships of Austria lay almost in the shadow of the vast Roman amphitheater, which has lifted its white walls, touched here and there with gold, above the sea for some sixteen hundred years, curiously graceful despite its gigantic bulk, the home now of grasses and thistles, where twenty thousand spectators used to assemble to take their pleasure.

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