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Page 170

PART III - THE PAST
CHAPTER III - CNIDUS

CNIDUS is not yet a seaside resort, nor am I afraid of making it one by describing my visit to it. There are some places that are safe from popularity-for example, the peninsula in Southern Asia Minor, townless, roadless, three miles across and fifty miles long, at the end of which lies Cnidus.
Greek captains never will use a chart. They sometimes have one, but it is always locked up in a drawer ; for, as they truly say, it is nothing but paper and lines, which are not the least like the sea, and it is far better to trust to yourself, especially in parts where you have never been before. But, as they combine instinct with caution, progress is sometimes slow ; and, instead of having a long afternoon at Cnidus, we did not anchor till five o'clock, and it was pouring with rain.
Desire for information tempted some of us ashore ; the name of Asia others. By some mischance, we were landed on the broken edge of the town wall, and had to stumble upwards over vast blocks of dislodged stone, amid the rapture of competent observers, who had discovered that the iron clamps were those used in classical times, and that we were straining our ankles over masonry of the best period. Within the walls were darkness and much mud, such as there is within the Hades of Aristophanes, and heavy dropping drain, such as befouls the Limbo of Dante, and at first the great silence that befits a city dead a thousand years.
So I have never seen Cnidus, for the'land was only an outline, and the sea ran into the sky. And who would expect visions from a dripping silhouette, when, time after time, the imagination has dwelt in vain desire amidst sun and blue sky and perfect colonnades, and found in them nothing but colonnades and sky and sun ? But, that evening, under those weeping clouds, the imagination became creative, taking wings because there was nothing to bid it rise, flying impertinently against all archxology

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