Circassian officers in their picturesque uniforms and beautifully chased swords and pistols mingle sociably with the civilians, and are evidently great favorites; but that the blue-coated, white-capped Russians are hated with a bitter, sullen hatred requires no penetrating eye to see.
Plunging into the cold, sparkling water of the Narzan Spring, I felt my bodily and mental powers returning. I left the baths as fresh and hearty as if I was off to a ball. After that, who shall say that the soul is not dependent upon the body!... On my return, I found the doctor at my rooms. He was wearing grey riding-breeches, a jacket and a Circassian cap.
For all that, they paid a visit to the wax-works, where they saw Monseigneur Sibour's body lying in state at the Archbishop's Palace, the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, models of people's legs and arms disfigured by various hideous diseases, and a Circassian maiden stepping out of the bath "the purest type of female beauty," as a placard duly informed the public.
However, these Asiatic pistols often miss fire if they are badly oiled or if you don't press hard enough on the trigger. I confess I don't like the Circassian carbines either. Somehow or other they don't suit the like of us: the butt end is so small, and any minute you may get your nose burnt! On the other hand, their sabres, now well, all I need say is, my best respects to them!"
They were about to proceed more at their ease, when again a great noise was heard, and Rinaldo himself was seen coming after them on foot, threatening the Saracen with furious gestures, for he saw that he had got his horse; and he recognised, above all, in a rage of jealousy, the lovely face beside him. Angelica in vain implored the Circassian to fly with her.
Five hundred Circassian cavalry were coming. The mountains were now infested with the dread Albanian irregulars, Coleman had thought in his daylight tramp that he had appreciated the noble distances, but he found that he knew nothing of their nobility until he tried this night stumbling.
From force of habit, though the small studio with the stove lit was very hot, he kept on his great-coat, with the collar turned up, and his bowler hat: he looked with satisfaction on the four large fiaschi of Chianti which stood in front of him in a row, two on each side of a bottle of whiskey; he said it reminded him of a slim fair Circassian guarded by four corpulent eunuchs.
When it grew somewhat later, the servants brought three glasses of tea for the six men of us, and not a spoon; and we who had finished our game came to the plaited settees. There was standing near them a small bow-legged man, a stranger to us, in a sheepskin jacket, and a papakha, or Circassian cap, with a long overhanging white crown.
As a matter of fact, not one-tenth part of the most cruel of all gossip the gossip of country-houses is worthy of credence; and although, when I first made Madame's acquaintance, she had living with her in the house a clerk named Mitusha, who had been promoted from a serf, and who, curled, pomaded, and dressed in a frockcoat of Circassian pattern, always stood behind his mistress's chair at luncheon, while from time to time she invited her guests to admire his handsome eyes and mouth, there was nothing for gossip to take hold of.
I only succeeded in seeing one white slave who was for sale but on this one the owner affected to set an immense value, and raised my expectations to a high pitch by saying that the girl was Circassian, and was “fair as the full moon.” After a good deal of delay I was at last led into a room, at the farther end of which was that mass of white linen which indicates an Eastern woman.