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At Zanzibar the line of streets is, as it should be, deep, narrow, and winding. In the west end apavement of chunam, provided with a gutter-the first I have seen in "Orient climes"-carries off theviolent rain, and secures coolness and purity. The east end shows attempts at similar civilisation;but green and miry puddles argue at preponderance of black population. Houses are on thefavourite Arab plan familiar to travellers in Spain and her colonies: some of the oldest buildings inGalway and western Ireland still display the type-a "patio," or hollow paved quadrangle, whereanimals may be penned for safety, with galleries, into which the rooms open, running round theseveral floors. But architecture is at its lowest ebb. There is not a straight line in the masonry; thearches are of every shape and form, and the floors will have a foot of depression between thecentre and the corners. The roofs, or rather terraces, supported by Zanzibar rafters, and walls ofmassy thickness, are copiously chunamed: here men sit to enjoy the sundown breezes. Bandanis,or penthouses of cadjans, garnish the house-tops in the native town: Europeans do not allow theseadjuncts, fires being frequent, and the slaves being addicted to aiding the work of destruction inhope of plunder. Some foreigners secure the delights of a cool night by erecting upper cabins ofplanking: the oldster, however, conforms to Arab precept, and always perspires during the hoursof sleep. The higher the house, the larger the doorway, the huger the studs which adorn themassive planks, and the heavier the padlock, the greater is the owner's dignity. An inscription cutin the wood of the lintel secures the entrance from witchcraft; and half a yard of ships' chain-cable,from thieves. Even the little square holes placed high up in the wall, and doing duty for windows,are closely barred. As glass cannot be used in sleeping-rooms, by reason of the heat, rough orpainted plank-shutters supply its place, and persiannes deform the best habitations. Arabs here, aselsewhere, love long narrow apartments, with many apertures towards the sea, securing the breezeessential to health: they as carefully close the eastern side-walls against the spicy feverish land-wind. The reception-hall is always on the ground-floor. It contrasts strongly with an Englishroom, where the uncomfortable confusion of furniture, and the crowding of ornaments ruin theproportions, and "put out" the eye. Here the long lines and the rows of niches, which, aselsewhere in the East, supply the want of tables, are unbroken save by the presence of a chandelierand a mirror, a Persian rug or carpet for the dais, a matting over the floor, and half-a-dozen Indianblack-wood chairs. Such is the upholstery of an Arab palace and an Italian villa. In the houses ofthe very wealthy, porcelain, glass-ware ornaments, and articles of European luxury, lie about theniches. The abodes of the poorer classes are provided with kitandahs, or cartels of cord, twistedround a rude wooden frame, trays for food, gourds, coarse stools, pots, and similar necessaries.
The dianthus plant is the quintessential cottage flower
We glided south by east through a breach in the coralline reef that recalled the gateways of Jeddah. Presently, detached houses sprinkled the shore. A large unfinished pile, white-washed, but fastdecaying, was called by our pilot Akhir el Zaman-the End of Time. Under divers inauspiciousomens, it had been commenced by the late Prince in his latter days; and the death of sundry masonskilled by a falling wall, rendered it so hateful to the Arabs that it will probably remainuninhabitable. Then, at the distance of a mile, appeared the royal harem and demesne of Mtony, alarge rusty building with an extinguisher-roofed balcony, of dingy planking. It has a quaint kind ofGothic look, like a castle in a play, of the Schloss of a pensionless German baron: the luxurianttrees in rear have the faux air of an English park. A fetid lagoon here diffuses pestilence around it;and skippers anchoring off Mtony for convenience of watering with the purest element on theisland, have, in the course of a few days, had occasion to lament the loss of half their crews. Presently we floated past the "Shah Allum," an old fifty-gun frigate, of Bombay build: she showedno colours, as is usual when a ship enters: and the few men on board shouted information whichneither we nor the pilot understood. This worthy, as we drew near, decided from the absence ofFirday flags on the consular staffs, that some great man had gone to his long home. The"Elphinstone," however, would not have the trouble of casting loose her guns for nothing: with H.H., the Sazzid of Zanzibar's ensign-a plain ret-at the fore, and the union at the main, she castanchor in Front Bay, about half a mile from shore, and fired a salute of twenty-one. A gay buntingthereupon flew up to every truck and the brass cannon of the "Victoria" roared a response oftwenty-two. We had arrived on the fortieth, of the last day of mourning.