Warburton, Eliot
Travels in Egypt and the Holy Land, or, The crescent and the cross: comprising the romance and realities of eastern travel — Philadelphia, 1859

Page: 70
DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/warburton1859/0098
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70 THE CRESCENT AND THE CROSS. [chap, xi

shine of intellect gleams through a heaven of blue, are, never-
theless, perfect in their kind—and at least as dangerous to the
senses. Languid, yet full—brimful of life \ dark, yet very lus-
trous ; liquid, yet clear as stars; {hey are compared by their
poets to the shape of the almond, and the bright timidness of the
gazelle's. The face is delicately oval, and its shape is set off
by the gold fringed turban, the most becoming head-dress in the
world; the long, black, silken tresses are braided from the
forehead, and hang wavily on each side of the face—falling be-
hind in a glossy cataract, that sparkles with such golden drops
as might have glittered upon Danae after the Olympian shower.
A light tunic of pink or pale blue crape is covered with a long
silk robe, open at the bosom, and buttoned thence downward to
the delicately slippered little feet, that peep daintily from be-
neath the full silken trousers. Round the loins, rather than the
waist, a cachemire shawl is loosely wrapt as a girdle, and an
embroidered jacket, or a large silk robe with loose open
sleeves, completes the costume. Nor is the water-pipe, with its
long variegated serpent, and its jewelled mouth-piece, any
detraction from the portrait.

Picture to yourself one of Eve's brightest daughters, in Eve's
own loving land. The woman-dealer has found among the
mountains that perfection in living woman which Praxiteles
scarcely realized, when inspired fancy wrought out its ideal in
marble. Silken scarfs, as richly colored and as airy as the
rainbow, wreathe her round, from the snowy brow to the finely
rounded limbs, half buried in billowy cushions: the attitude is
the very poetry of repose—languid it may be—but glowing life
thrills beneath that flower-soft exterior, from the varying cheek
and flashing eye, to the henna-dyed taper-fingers that caprici-
ously play with her rosary of beads. The blaze of sunshine is
round her kiosk, but she sits in the softened shadow so dear to the
painter's eye. And so she dreams away the warm hours in such
a calm of thought within, and sight or sound without, that she
starts when the gold fish gleams in the fountain, or the breeze-
ruffled rose sheds a leaf upon her bosom.

The mystery, the seclusion, and the danger that surrounds the
Odalisque may be perilously interesting to the romantic ; but.
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