Escape with Me! An Oriental Sketch-Book

Escape with Me! An Oriental Sketch-Book

Escape with Me! An Oriental Sketch-Book

Escape with Me! An Oriental Sketch-Book

Excerpt

At night the heat lay over the Red Sea in clouds almost palpable. Everything you touched, the walls, the switch for the electric light, the sheets on the bed, the glass of water beside it on the table, was warm, and sleep was out of reach. In those hours it was impossible not to wonder if any country, even China itself, could repay such a journey.

It was curious, I thought, that China had always exercised such allurement, whereas the idea of India, despite its manifold and diverse marvels, continued to be repellent; why, too, had Peking, above all other cities in the East, irresistibly attracted me? ... Partly, of course, because of the sensible explanations: that China, for several thousands of years, had, in fact, offered an alternative method of living—the only one in the world—to our own; that Peking existed, a great and civilised metropolis, still ruled by native custom and ancient law, and not, like Tokyo and Baghdad and Bombay, made and governed in the image of Manchester or Detroit, or, after the manner . . .

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