April 26, 2013

His blows door phone

One day of rest, the prayers of my hostess began to lose their power of keeping me from the pestilent side of the Golden Horn. Faithfully promising to shun the touch of all imaginable substances, however enticing, I set off very cautiously, and held my way uncompromised till I reached the water's edge; but before my caique was quite ready some rueful-looking fellows came rapidly shambling down the steps with a plague-stricken corpse.

Which they were going to bury amongst the faithful on the other side of the water. I contrived to be so much in the way of this brisk funeral, that I was not only touched by the men bearing the body, but also, I believe, by the foot door bell of the dead man, as it hung lolling out of the bier. This accident gave me such a strong interest in denying the soundness of the contagion theory, that I did in fact deny and repudiate it altogether; and from that time, acting upon my own convenient view of the matter.

I went wherever I chose, without taking any serious pains to avoid a touch. It seems to me now very likely that the Europeans are right, and that the plague may be really conveyed by contagion; but during the whole time of my remaining in the Video Door Camera, my views on this subject more nearly approached to those of the fatalists; and so, when afterwards the plague of Egypt came dealing his blows door phone




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