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An Unprotected Female by Anthony Trollope
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by Anthony Trollope

In the happy days when we were young, no description conveyed to us so
complete an idea of mysterious reality as that of an Oriental city. We
knew it was actually there, but had such vague notions of its ways and
looks! Let any one remember his early impressions as to Bagdad or
Grand Cairo, and then say if this was not so. It was probably taken
from the "Arabian Nights," and the picture produced was one of strange,
fantastic, luxurious houses; of women who were either very young and
very beautiful, or else very old and very cunning; but in either state
exercising much more influence in life than women in the East do now;
of good-natured, capricious, though sometimes tyrannical monarchs; and
of life full of quaint mysteries, quite unintelligible in every phasis,
and on that account the more picturesque.

And perhaps Grand Cairo has thus filled us with more wonder even than
Bagdad. We have been in a certain manner at home at Bagdad, but have
only visited Grand Cairo occasionally. I know no place which was to
me, in early years, so delightfully mysterious as Grand Cairo.

But the route to India and Australia has changed all this. Men from
all countries going to the East, now pass through Cairo, and its
streets and costumes are no longer strange to us. It has become also a
resort for invalids, or rather for those who fear that they may become
invalids if they remain in a cold climate during the winter months.
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