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p. 125


I went with Plango to the Egyptian courtesans, far above the old city. They have amphoras of earth and copper salvers, and yellow mats on which they may squat without an effort.

Their rooms are silent, without angles or corners, so greatly have successive coats of blue white-wash softened the capitals and rounded off the bottoms of the walls.

They sit unmoving, hands upon their knees. When they offer porridge they murmur: "Happiness.'' And when one thanks them they say, "Thanks to you."

They understand Hellenic, but feign to speak it poorly so that they may laugh at us in their own tongue; but we, tooth for tooth, speak Lydian and they suddenly grow restless.

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