SHORT TOUR TO THE EAST
the shores of the Sea of Marmora ; then came the Hellespont, then the Troad, then Smyrna.
My allowance of time was drawing to a close, for I had to make ample allowance for long detention in quarantines, which were in those times an especial nuisance. They were put on or taken off with apparent caprice, sometimes it was said for purely commercial reasons. So I was able to allow only two or three days for seeing the environs of Smyrna, and then started in a steamer to the island of Syra, where I was placed for ten days in quarantine. My rooms were like those of a khan, wholly unfurnished, the guardian supplying bedding and food at moderate cost. He followed me as a prisoner under his charge, with a long stick wherewith to ward me from touching or being touched by any body or thing that was not in the same quarantine as myself. The quarantine buildings enclosed a large square. My rooms opened at' the back into a cheerful covered balcony which looked on the sea. My neighbouring occupant was a lady, a near relative to Arthur Cayley, the great mathematician, whom I even then had learnt to revere, and whose pupil I became during one of my happy long vacations at Cambridge.
The laws of quarantine were curiously minute. Metal, such as a coin, was not supposed to be so deeply infected but that a simple washing would purify it; paper must be pricked and fumigated ; but clothing had to undergo as much quarantine as the wearer, and even more, as will be seen later on., It was ruled that if any part of a cloth or fabric of fibres was touched by a person in quarantine, I the whole of it became equally tainted. So I put to my